Merkel 'is EU's big weakness'

Bank boss says German chancellor is holding back Europe's economy with her lack of vision

The head of one of Europe's fastest-growing banks has launched a damning attack on Angela Merkel ahead of the German elections later this month.

Lars Seier Christensen, the chief executive of Saxo Bank, which provides Barclays with white-label products in the UK, described Germany's chancellor as "Europe's Achilles' heel".

He warned that her lack of vision was damaging the continent's economy.

"Ms Merkel has said 'nein' to centralised European Union economic governance, 'nein' to a permanent bailout mechanism and 'nein' to the idea of eurobonds, which she called 'economically wrong and counterproductive'," he said.

"She is a problem solver and there's nothing wrong with solving concrete problems.

"However, politics is also about declaring new ideas and visions. It's about setting an agenda instead of following a popular sentiment. Ms Merkel has yet to do that."

Saxo bank, headquartered in Denmark, has offices in 25 countries including the UK and Germany.

Mr Christensen is an outspoken critic of the EU and this year warned a eurozone break-up was inevitable as Brussels claimed even more power and used it "ever more poorly".

On Ms Merkel, he said: "Germans are in no mood for change. The polls show Ms Merkel is likely to win. She will then stay the de facto leader of the EU and its future and – disaster – currency will be determined by this former research chemist.

"As I see it, the research is done. The verdict is out. We have to re-evaluate the EU."

Voters across Europe's largest economy will go to the polls on September 22 when the incumbent German chancellor is widely expected to be re-elected for a third successive term.

Unlike Mr Christensen, most commentators in the City believe a victory for Ms Merkel is vital for Europe's economic recovery.

Mike Jennings, the chief investment officer at Premier Asset Management, said: "Despite Ms Merkel's commanding lead in the latest German opinion polls, to assume a smooth return to power in next month's election is a dangerous stance to take.

"If there is not a smooth return to power, European markets could unexpectedly dip."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high