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Merkel Remains Opposed to Joint Euro Debt as EU Urges Action

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled to lawmakers of her ruling Christian Democratic bloc that she won’t bend in her refusal to back joint euro-area bonds.

Merkel nodded in agreement when Volker Kauder, the Christian Democrats’ floor leader in parliament, told a closed-door caucus meeting in Berlin today that Germany’s position was unchanged, caucus spokesman Ulrich Scharlack said.

Her refusal is setting up a clash with supporters of joint-debt issuance to stem the euro’s financial crisis such as European Commission President Jose Barroso, who plans to present options for joint euro-area bonds on Nov. 23.

Barroso said Nov. 16 that the euro region faced a “truly systemic crisis” and Europe’s partners were justified in demanding a bolder reaction. He said veto powers of individual euro-area governments over common decisions had slowed Europe’s response.

“Naturally, we will look at all proposals made by the commission,” Kauder told reporters after the meeting. “But the chancellor confirmed it to me: nothing has changed in the German government’s position, no to euro bonds.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net

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