a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Romano Prodi calls out Germany

Posted on the November 30th, 2011

It is a brilliant stroke by Romano Prodi in an interview yesterday with Spiegel Online International when he parries a challenge from the interviewer by asking bluntly “Is Germany better off with the euro or without it?”

The interviewer has just referred to German PM Angela Merkel’s stated opposition to eurobonds, and to Germans’ fear that it is primarily Germany that will carry the financial burden for the bonds. Excerpt:

SPIEGEL: …By now, Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be completely isolated, with all partners exerting huge pressure on her. Will that be effective?

Prodi: That is the way politics works. But let’s be rational. Is Germany better off with the euro or without it?

SPIEGEL: With the euro.

In a later section of the interview, the subject of a “two-speed” Europe comes up. Here also, Prodi offers an interesting perspective. And he goes on to talk about a major criticism that he says he hears increasingly voiced about Europe’s power globally.

You can read the full Q&A here, which also includes some discussion of the current and past state of things in Italy.

I do wish Prodi hadn’t retired from Italian politics (and I’m not the only one).

 

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Everybody is backing the euro: Romano Prodi

Posted on the May 18th, 2010

Europe’s reputation was damaged at the beginning of the recent eurozone crisis, but now everyone is backing the euro, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television.

He added that it would have been better if the European Union had not taken so long to make its decision, but now the clear decision is that there is no alternative.

The delay has had very, very high costs, you know, but to build Europe, you need time, as you know, Prodi said.

To see the full interview (7:33), click on thumbnail above.

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