"Conceived as a tool for integrating Germany into Europe, (the Euro) it has become the opposite. For better or for worse, the Germans now own Europe. If the rest of Europe is to continue to enjoy the benefits of what is essentially a German currency, they need to become more German."
"You would nearly start believing those conspiracy theorists who say that the whole euro crisis was brought about just so they could use the opportunity to create a united states of Europe. As it transpired, the outcome of the Franco-German summit was more proposals to make us all more German, proposals that will suit the Germans but won't suit the rest of us -- tax harmonisation (initially only between Germany and France, but let's not kid ourselves, this will ultimately lead to more pressure for higher corporation tax for us), a financial transaction tax that could murder our economy, and a new golden rule of no budget deficits, which coincidentally, is central to France not having their debt downgraded, which will play well in France. And, of course, there will be no eurobonds, which will play well, as Morgan Kelly would say, in the German tabloids.
Perhaps the most chilling thing about the proposed financial tax, the so-called Tobin tax, was that Merkel and Sarkozy said they would have their finance ministers do some work on it, "to contribute to the work of the European Commission" on such a move. In other words, the Commission weren't doing France and Germany's bidding quickly enough on the financial tax so they are going to help it along.
In other words, Germany, with a bit of help from France, is now nakedly running European policy, and they are doing so in their own interests.
Irish Independent Article