Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Germany Is out of Line

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Germany Is out of Line

Article excerpt


ALISTAIR DARLIng today rapped german Chancellor Angela Merkel for sparking a chaotic rush across Europe to protect bank savings.

In thinly veiled criticism, the Chancellor demanded that European Union nations work far more closely together to deal with the economic crisis.

Ms Merkel promised at the weekend that the deposits of german savers were safe heaping pressure on the British government to fully guarantee savings here.

Today she insisted that this was a political statement rather than a move to a new, legally binding guarantee. But Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Austria reacted to her comments by boosting protection measures for their savers.

Seeking to restore a sense of unity in Europe, EU leaders this afternoon thrashed out a joint statement on tackling the financial turmoil.

It said: All the leaders of the European Union make clear that each of them will take whatever measures are necessary to maintain the stability of the financial system whether through liquidity support through central banks, action to deal with individual banks or enhanced depositor protection schemes.

While no depositors in our countries banks have lost any money, we will continue to take the necessary measures to protect both the system and individual depositors. In taking these measures, European leaders acknowledge the need for close coordination and cooperation. In the Commons, Mr Darling also fired a warning shot at shadow chancellor george Osborne, accusing him of being irresponsible and threatening to under-mine shares in British banks.

The Chancellor is angry that Mr Osborne has talked up a proposed recapitalisation plan for banks after a recent meeting with Bank of England governor Mervyn King and himself.

Stressing that all options were being examined, Mr Darling told MPs: But it would be irresponsible to speculate on the specifics of future responses. …

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