The Opposition Offers Support to Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel is under fire for her perceived lack of leadership in the euro crisis.
On Monday, leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) declared at a news conference that it was ready to help her tackle the crisis provided that she pushes for strong, decisive measures to rescue Greece at a special European Union summit this week.
The SPD said it would back her in the parliamentary vote on the second bailout package for Greece this autumn and would even support her in explaining potentially unpopular measures to the German public.
SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel, parliamentary group leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück said they had written to Merkel with a pledge of political support for “a strong and brave political signal.”
Steinbrück, regarded as a potential SPD candidate to challenge Merkel in the next general election in 2013, said the EU’s strategy of merely helping ailing euro members service their debts had failed. “It is important that the summit takes decisions that are comprehensive and strong,” he told a joint news conference with Gabriel and Steinmeier on Monday. “The danger of contagion for other countries is greater than ever.” Greece needs a debt restructuring with a debt cut of 40 to 50 percent, he said.
Source: Spiegel International (July 20)