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German Daybook: Merkel’s Leadership, Greek ‘Soft Restructuring’

Chancellor Angela Merkel has failed to lead during Europe’s debt crisis and must now rise above German public opinion to offer more help for troubled euro-area states, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said.

Merkel acted too slowly when the crisis unfolded last year, pandering to the “yellow press,” Schroeder said in an interview. Schroeder said the chancellor, who defeated him in 2005, should press for banks and other bondholders to take losses and give euro countries more time to cut budget deficits.

ECONOMY *European finance ministers floated the idea of talks with bondholders over extending Greece’s debt-repayment schedule for the first time at a meeting in Brussels yesterday, saying that last year’s EU110b rescue failed to restore Greece to financial health. *An emerging-market candidate should head the IMF, Michael Fuchs, deputy floor leader of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU, said, according to FTD. Strauss-Kahn lawyer says prosecutors may consider bail.

GOVERNMENT *German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere announces the results of his military overhaul at 3 p.m. *Support for Merkel’s FDP ally has dropped for the fourth time this year to a record low of 3 percent in a poll conducted by Stern and RTL, German magazine Stern reported today.

WHAT TO WATCH: *ECB’s Stark speaks at a Greek government roundtable in Athens at 9 a.m. *ECB’s Bini Smaghi speaks at Advantage Financial Group’s annual conference on “Global Perspectives and Imbalances” in Milan. *EU’s Almunia speaks at the International Competition Network conference in The Hague at 9:30 a.m. EU, US regulators speak during three-day antitrust conference. *Finance Minister Schaeuble speaks at the Brussels Economic Forum at 10 a.m. *Eurostat releases euro-zone monthly construction output data for March at 11 a.m. *ECB Vice President Constancio speaks at the Brussels Economic Forum at 11:30 a.m. *Chancellor Merkel meets German business groups on shift in energy policy away from nuclear power from 2 p.m. in Berlin.

EQUITIES: *Bafin has notified Volkswagen (VOW GR) that the effective domestic weighted average stock exchange price of MAN SE (MAN GR) as of May 8, the day before the carmaker gained control of the truckmaker, amounts to EU87.23/ordinary share and EU59.90/preference share. *Deutsche Bank (DBK GR) is prepared for a 20%-30% haircut on Greek debt on orders of Chief Risk Officer Hugo Banziger, Handelsblatt reported, citing unidentified people close to Banziger. *SAP (SAP GR) predicts mobile products, services and real-time analytics technology will generate about a quarter of its projected EU20b in sales by 2015. *AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd (HPL GR) are among companies raided by EU antitrust officials over possible collusion. *Wirecard (WDI GR) posted 1Q net income of EU12. It confirmed its forecast for ebitda of EU81m-Eu90m for 2011 and will propose a EU0.10 dividend payment. *IVG Immobilien (IVG GR) said Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefers will succeed Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Niesslein as CEO. The company holds its annual general meeting of shareholders in Bonn. *Suedzucker (SZU GR) reports annual results. Analyst est. as of 6:50 a.m. net: EU236.6m, sales EU6.02b. *Air Berlin PLC (AB1 GR) reports first-quarter results at 8 a.m. The airline reported a preliminary 1Q loss of EU120.6M. *Lanxess (LXS GR) holds its annual general meeting of shareholders in Cologne from 10 a.m.. *Wacker Chemie (WCH GR) holds its annual general meeting of shareholders in Munich. *Aareal Bank (ARL GR) holds its annual general meeting of shareholders from 10:30 a.m. in Wiesbaden. *Symrise (SY1 GR) holds its annual general meeting of shareholders in Hanover from 10 a.m.

*KSB AG (KSB GR) holds its annual general meeting of shareholders at 3 p.m. in Frankenthal.

MARKETS: *The DAX Index fell 1.8% to 7,256.65 *The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.2% to 135.56 as of 7:31 a.m. in Frankfurt. *The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 1% to 277.28 *German 10YR bond yield: 3.093% *Euro -- U.S. $1.4275

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