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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One for the people?

Lars Feld, new economics advisor to the German government, has done something rather radical - called for a referendum on the extension of the eurozone bail-out fund. In an interview which appears in tomorrow's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he says:
"When there is discussion about extending the 750 billion euro bailout fund for eurozone member states with excessive debt, then such an important question should be put to the people."
According to Reuters, Mr Feld has an EU-wide referendum in mind.

He also says:
"I don't believe Greece will manage without restructering its debt. And then German guarantees will be needed (...) I hardly know of anyone who thinks that Greece can make it on its own."
(The German government today denied reports that it was planning for a Greek debt restructering, meaning that it's probably working on something).

FTD describes Feld as a "hardliner". He has been appointed by Germany's liberal Economy Minister Rainer BrĂ¼derle as one of five members of the German Council of Economic Experts. The opinions of the experts aren't automatic government policy, but hugely influential.

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