SPD Demands Growth Components
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the center-left Social Democratic Party's (SPD) floor leader in parliament, has made greater economic stimulus measures a precondition for his party's support for the European fiscal pact agreed to in March by 25 E.U. countries that is still awaiting ratification in the Bundestag.
"Without taxation of the financial markets, without a strengthening of investment power and without an expansion of the loan volume available to the European Investment Bank, the SPD will not go down the same path as the federal government," Steinmeier told Spiegel.
The comments marked the first time the opposition leader linked growth measures to support for the fiscal pact. Previously, he had fought other members of his party making that demand.
"I guarantee you, there will only be a fiscal pact if it includes complementary growth elements," said Steinmeier. "If they aren't in it, then the SPD will not agree to it." The demand puts Merkel in a corner given that passing the fiscal pact will require a two-thirds parliamentary majority. The chancellor will need support from the ranks of the opposition.
"Other conditions are that the concerns of the federal states need to be cleared up and that the question of parliamentary participation must be clarified," he said, referring to the voice that would be given to the Bundestag in making decisions relating to the fiscal pact. Steinmeier also called for the creation of a European debt repayment fund. He said that euro bonds, which are currently being promoted as a way out of the crisis by French President François Hollande, could only be introduced "if they come with strict conditions and we have harmonized European economic and finance policy."
Intellpuke: You can read this Spiegel article, filed from Berlin, Germany, in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/europe/german-government-wants-to-create-special-economic-zones-in-europe-a-835224.html