Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview with Romano Prodi: 'Germany Must Make a Decision or the Game Is Over'

November 29, 2011

With the euro on the brink, all eyes are on Germany. Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister and the ex-president of the European Commission, says in a SPIEGEL interview that Germany, as the most powerful country on the Continent, must finally step up and show the courage to resolve the debt crisis.

SPIEGEL: Do you, like European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, support the introduction of euro bonds in order to steer Europe out of the crisis?

Prodi: The European Central Bank needs to play a proper role in the crisis and euro bonds also need to be issued. Together with my colleague, I proposed bonds that are to be guaranteed by the state's gold reserves and other funds.

SPIEGEL: And what effect would these measures have?

Prodi: Think about one thing: Why is it that nobody attacks the dollar? Looking at the United States budget, the dollar is in a much worse situation than the euro. The debt state of California is much worse off than the Greek one. But the dollar is defended, also by the Fed. That makes the dollar a big, strong dog. And nobody bites a big dog.

SPIEGEL: Could the euro become a big dog, too?

Prodi: If there is the political will. Look, Germany has a really powerful position right now. Germany is the new China.

SPIEGEL: Surely that is an overstatement.

Prodi: Let's take the German-French summit. By now it is a German-German summit. You cannot say it loudly, but it is true: Chancellor Merkel, in the end, is obliged to dictate the rules.


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