Comment: Watch Kohl fight for EMU
Wednesday 12 February 1997
But the possibility of EMU going ahead at all recedes if the timetable crumbles. Without the credible excuse of a looming deadline, plenty of European politicians will find it hard to persuade their voters to swallow the horrid medicine that a successful currency union demands. All in all then, the growing opinion that Germany can't squeeze its economy into the Maastricht corset on schedule should cast serious doubt on the prospect that our pockets will jingle with euros in the early years of the next century.
The abysmal German unemployment figures announced last week were only the start of it. This week the markets picked up on rumours in the British media that German officials were revising their deficit forecasts upwards - to 3.5 per cent of GDP rather than the current projection of 2.9 per cent - to cope with extra spending on unemployment benefit.
But hang on a minute. Is this really credible? The German and French governments are as aware as anyone that if the timetable is missed the entire project starts to flake. The German government will do absolutely everything it can to meet the timetable. Watch this space for a supplementary budget later in the year if the public finances deteriorate too far.
Not that a budget nip and tuck here and there will be easy. Fiscal tightening while unemployment is so high could be extremely bad for the economy, and deeply unpopular with the German public, not to mention the opposition- dominated Bundesrat, which would have a veto on new legislation. Even so, it is too soon to close the curtains on EMU. Never underestimate what Chancellor Kohl and his colleagues are prepared to do to see the European project through.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...