Euro Juncker Bonds
Breaking with the decorum by which he is normally bound, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, used the word crisis six times as he surveyed the emergency now facing the eurozone. However he added that the eurozone would emerge “stronger than ever”, and predicted that the UK would join the currency.
Mr Juncker, 57, has been president of the Eurogroup, an informal caucus of the euro finance ministers, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, since 2005. He said: “With my European duties, I must not take part in the current alarmism. I profoundly think that we are capable of overcoming the structural difficulties of the moment.”
Then, switching from French to make his point slowly in English, he added: “I have to say that I am seriously concerned.”
Mr Juncker lamented “the impression that that we have hesitated at each stage” of the crisis. “We must impress the world with a record-breaking long-jump,” he said.
A leap towards fiscal and financial union will be outlined to leaders of the eurozone at a Brussels summit on June 28 and the plan must be complete by the early autumn,.....He said that he and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission — Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso — expected to present proposals for greater integration by October.
The broker of countless pre-dawn compromises, including Britain’s opt-out from monetary union, acknowledged that while there was a consensus on pooling more governance, wide differences remained over the shorter-term means of relief.
Germany is resisting the majority wish to share debt through things such as joint “eurobonds”...
It was now clear that it had been an error for Germany and its allies to block pooled economic governance for the currency early on. “Even those who did not want deeper economic integration are now realising that this was an error,” Mr Juncker admitted.
The euro was born on hope. “We thought that the single currency would give birth to other European advances. I stick to my conviction.
“I foresee that at the end of this crisis, the European Union and the eurozone will emerge stronger than ever.”
He was equally sure of the UK’s destiny: “The moment will come when the United Kingdom, after looking at reality, will say to itself that it is better to be in the essential machine of Europe than to sit in the stand watching the action . . . I have always believed that, in spite of occasional bitterness, the European Union without Britain is no longer the European Union.”
He added: “For strictly national reasons and not out of any continental romanticism, the United Kingdom will become a member of the eurozone.”