Germany Takes Credit for Quashing Bond Debate, Merkel Ally Says

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government takes credit for quashing debate about joint euro- area bonds as part of its drive to make countries reduce debt, said Peter Altmaier, a senior coalition lawmaker.

“We have shoved the debate on euro bonds where it belongs now and for the foreseeable future: into the broom closet,” Altmaier, the parliamentary whip for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told reporters in Berlin today.

“Step by step in the recent weeks and months, we have built up a majority across Europe for the convictions held by the chancellor and the coalition,” Altmaier said.

Common bonds as a way to stem Europe’s debt crisis and preserve the 17-nation monetary union have support from southern nations including Greece and Italy as well as Luxembourg and Belgium. Merkel opposes euro bonds, saying they would paper over differences in competitiveness in the euro area and ease pressure for budget cuts in the most-indebted nations.

“My belief is that we have to take our cue from the best in Europe” Merkel said in renewing her rejection of joint bonds on Feb. 7 in Berlin. “Mediocrity isn’t enough” to compete in the global economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Czuczka in Berlin at aczuczka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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