Billionaire investor George Soros said that Germany’s role during the euro-area debt crisis will result in the country being “hated” and resented by the rest of Europe, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.
In doing “the minimum” to preserve the euro, Germany will “perpetuate the situation where the debtor countries in Europe have to pay tremendous premiums to refinance their debt,” the magazine cited Soros as saying in an interview published on its website today. “The result will be a Europe in which Germany is seen as an imperial power that will not be loved and admired by the rest of Europe -- but hated and resisted, because it will perceived as an oppressive power.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel faces an increasingly united bloc of euro-area nations at a June 28-29 European summit as fellow leaders in France, Italy and Spain, plus investors such as Soros, press her for more ambitious policies to help bring down borrowing costs across the 17-nation euro region.
Soros, in a Bloomberg News interview two days ago, urged Merkel to agree to a fund to buy Italian and Spanish bonds in return for those governments implementing budget cuts, saying that Merkel is a “strong leader,” who is “leading Europe in the wrong direction.”
Merkel “is trapped,” Soros told the magazine. She “has realized that the euro is not working, but she cannot change the narrative she has created because that narrative has caught the imagination of the German public, and the German public has accepted it.”
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, on the other hand, is representative of the “the Germany of Helmut Kohl,” the chancellor who presided over reunification of east and west, according to Soros.
Schaeuble “is the last European standing, and he is a tragic figure, because he understands what needs to be done, but he also realizes the obstacles that stand in the way, and he cannot find a way to overcome these obstacles,” he said, according to Der Spiegel. “So he is really suffering.”