Speaking through the medium of a leaky German official, Angela Merkel this morning rejected suggestions by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president who must not be confused with the European Commission President, that the whole eurozone rescue scam could be pulled off without any voters being involved at all.
The official, who remained anonymous so as not to become official, told a few well-chosen German reporters that “a number of actors have not understood the seriousness of the situation”, and that these essentially Belgian actors had suggested a “bad compromise” – as opposed to a complete sellout, which was what was required by the banks. He added:
“A decisive step to restructuring the eurozone is needed. We cannot achieve that with a whole collection of small steps.” But he fell short of any big steps like guaranteeing eurodebts, observing that the markets would have to make do with medium steps correctly measured in millimetres by people in Brussels who do that sort of thing, albeit not as well as the Germans would.
The informal, unofficial and binding rebuke didn’t go down well at the Elysees Palace, where Nicolas Sarkozy was meeting with the real Angela Merkel to discuss the question of loose-cannon French leaks going forward. These had, over the last few days, suggested that treble-agent Wolfgang Schauble was at work on a Superpill containing unions, guarantees, harsh punishments and forgiveness. Frau Merkel expressed her view that such fantasies had not been helpful, and President Sarkozy sympathised with the problem of having rogue advisers like what he has got some of too. Unfortunately, he felt the need to press Her Highness on the subject of some form of guarantee, on account of he wasn’t that tall and a wall of toxic Italian water was heading his way.
More meetings will be held tomorrow, and nobody will ever be let out of the Palace ever again until such time as an agreement has been reached. In the meantime, Mario Draghi awaits a go-ahead from the Fuhrerine – at which point he will spray the banks with money as part of a controlled liquidity strategy aimed at restoring fiscal discipline in the eurozone. Whatever or wherever that eurozone might be.
But somewhere offstage, Wolfie Schauble is in his lair. Where is it, and what is he hatching? Is he the thing up Angela Merkel’s sleeve? Or is that just the muscle issue she built up pulling pints in the Pferde und Hunde during 1986?
Don’t miss tomorrow’s enervating episode.