French President Francois Hollande said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bid for re-election is hindering the euro area’s push for a banking union to counter the debt crisis.
“Ms. Merkel has upcoming elections in September, and cannot give the impression that she’s taking greater care of Europeans than of Germans,” Hollande said in an interview in Paris with The Wall Street Journal that was published today. “The risk is that Germany may want to wait until after its elections to move ahead on the banking union.”
Europe is racing to put together the pieces of a financial- supervisory system under the European Central Bank in to counter the three-year-old debt crisis, which has led to rescues totaling 496 billion euros ($650 billion) for five of the 17 euro countries.
Resisting elements of the banking union, German officials say that the European Union treaty must be amended in order to complete the plans.
“It would only take Ms. Merkel to say that treaty changes are not necessary for things to move forward,” Hollande said. “I am confident that we can always reach a compromise with Germany.”
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