Euro Stability Fund Will Pass: German Minister
Angela Merkel's coalition partner, whose party has formed the main political opposition to the extension of the European Financial Stability Facility within Germany, told CNBC Wednesday that he believes the new EFSF measures will pass next week.
Vice-chancellor and economy minister Philipp Roesler's remarks followed grumbling from his conservative party in recent months about the cost of bailing out Greece.
The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created by the euro area member states and has the ability to issue bonds guaranteed by those states for member states in financial difficulty.
Members of Roesler’s own party and Merkel's Christian Democrats have pledged to rebel against their government and vote against the new EFSF package in the German parliament next Thursday.
There has been more support from the opposition parties for the measures.
Roesler struck a more conciliatory tone in his interview with CNBC, and stated that a preliminary poll of his party's members of parliament indicated that the majority would back the measures.
"We want to make sure that all countries that are inside the euro zone will stay in it," Roesler said. "We also want to make sure that these countries will regain their economic strength."
As the biggest economy in the euro zone, Germany also faces the biggest bill for the EFSF. Its recovery from the 2008 crisis has been stronger than much of the rest of the euro zone.
There is resentment within the country about the extent of the bailout of weaker countries.
There has been speculation in Germany that Roesler’s Free Democrats (FDP), which suffered worse-than-expected losses in regional elections in Berlin last weekend, is repositioning itself as a euro-skeptic party in an effort to secure more votes.
About 40 percent of Germans would vote for a euro-skeptic party, according to a survey by Emnid Institute published in German newspaper Bild am Sonntag last weekend.
"We have said clearly that we want to keep Greece inside the euro zone, but in order to achieve that we have to do everything to rebuild economic competitiveness in those countries," said Roesler. "Getting our national parliament to equip the EFSF more effectively so that we have even more opportunities to stabilize the euro is key."
He dismissed the possibility that Greece may exit the euro, pointing out "the treaties don't even allow for such a possibility."
"We will do everything to rebuild the economic strength of the country," he added.
Roesler took over as vice-chancellor after being elected as leader of the Free Democrats in May.
The 38-year-old doctor, who was born in Vietnam and adopted by a German couple as an infant, has had a meteoric rise through the ranks of German politics.