EU summit will calm eurozone jitters: Schaeuble

22nd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday that next month's European Union summit will calm jittery markets, predicting a rapid solution to the eurozone's woes.

"It's going to be quicker than 12 months," he said. "I think decisions will be made on December 9."

He was referring in particular to amendments to European treaties sought by Berlin that would institutionalise budgetary discipline.

Germany wants "limited" changes that notably would make it possible to prosecute a state for racking up debt and deficits.

"There's no alternative," Schaeuble said at a seminar organised by Commerzbank, Germany's second largest bank. "We must change the structures. It's not the arrogance of the Germans, that's just the way it is."

Commerzbank chief Martin Blessing said European leaders could ensure that interest rates do not climb further, especially those on Italy's borrowing.

But he said it would take much more to end what he called a "strike" by investors leery of buying bonds from several eurozone countries.

"Investors are waiting three or four quarters to see if things get better, so the latency period becomes longer," Blessing said.

Schaeuble said the partners of the countries being snubbed should step in.

The minister repeated his opposition to remedies that have been mooted recently such as heavy intervention by the European Central Bank or the creation of a eurobond.

© 2011 AFP

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