The Netherlands, Austria, and Germany prevent deepening Eurozone integration, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German newspaper Handelsblatt, published on 3 May.
Juncker was making reference to what he suggested was an obstructionist agenda by countries that are net contributors to the EU budget loath the prospect of any form of transfers union.
“There is no progress with the deepening of the monetary union because The Netherlands, Austria and all too often, Germany, all stand in the way of more solidarity and joint responsibility,” said Juncker, who added that he is “still hopeful” that several German politicians want to make progress when it comes to taking the next steps towards further integration of the 19-members of the common currency.
Throughout the sovereign debt crisis, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland resisted any notion of Eurobonds, which would resolve the “death loop” between national banks and sovereigns, by pooling the credit-rating of the Eurozone members. Juncker also said jointly issued debts should be expected in the future.
One of the most vociferous opponents of deepening the project for the political integration of the Eurozone has been the president of the German Central Bank, Jens Weidman, who is also a candidate to succeed Mario Draghi as the head of European Central Bank (ECB).
This candidacy has limited support in the ECB board, as Weidman has also been a staunch critic and opponent of Mario Draghi’s quantitative easing and “whatever it takes” position, a policy that is largely credited with helping the Eurozone recover for the worst of the global financial crisis. Asked whether he would support Weidman’s candidacy, Juncker said he was “not advocating for or against.”
“I wouldn’t mind at all if there was a German president of the ECB,” Juncker said, adding that “I definitely do not share the view that is prevalent in parts of southern Europe that a German should not be president of the ECB.”