Woe Is the Euro Merkel Faces Myriad Pitfalls in Bailout Vote
In the next few weeks, Angela Merkel will face her toughest challenges yet as Germany's chancellor. She will have to push the latest euro rescue plan through parliament, but she faces resistance from within her own government where parties lack a common position. SPIEGEL ONLINE has outlined the most significant sticking points.
For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the next few weeks could prove to be the most challenging of her term in office. Her task: to push ahead with the deeper integration of the European Union in order to save its ailing common currency. Not known for her use of impassioned words, she made a strongly worded speech on Wednesday when she told the federal parliament, the Bundestag, she wanted to address the euro crisis in a "controlled process."
In the coming weeks, however, her coalition government of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) will be put to the test. The Bundestag is slated to vote on the latest euro rescue measures at the end of September.
Meanwhile, the situation in Greece remains tense following the decision by the troika, a special commission comprised of officials from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), to depart Athens last week without any results. It appears that the government in Athens wants to loosen its deficit targets for this year and next. Officials in Berlin are alarmed. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has warned Athens that the troika's work must be successful -- otherwise the next tranche of aid to Greece will not be transferred.
The developments are nothing less than a stress test for Merkel's coalition government. And a test vote on the bailout packages conducted by the CDU, the CSU and the FDP earlier this week didn't bode well for Merkel. Although it is widely believed there are enough votes to pass the legislation -- the opposition center-left Social Democrats and Greens have said they will support it -- it is anything but a given that Merkel will be able to forge a majority relying exclusively on her coalition partners. The latest news coming out of Greece and Italy, where enthusiasm for budget consolidation appears to be waning, isn't helping matters.
How will Merkel's coalition solve the crisis? What are the Bundestag members' biggest concerns, and how will the European Union move forward? SPIEGEL ONLINE has compiled an overview of the most pressing issues.
- Part 1: Merkel Faces Myriad Pitfalls in Bailout Vote
- Part 2: How Many Billions of Euros Are at Stake?
- Part 3: What Is the German Parliament Afraid of?
- Part 4: How Has Germany's Highest Court Ruled?
- Part 5: What Is the Rescue Fund Permitted to Do?
- Part 6: How Will the Crisis-Plagued Euro Zone Further Develop?
- Part 7: What Is the Position of the FDP, Merkel's Coalition Partner?
- Part 8: Will Europe Soon Have an EU Finance Minister?
- Part 9: What Is the Status of the Transaction Tax?
- Part 10: Where Do Germany's Opposition Parties Stand?
- Part 11: Will Euro Bonds Be Introduced?
- Part 12: Are We Headed Towards a United States of Europe?