European Union Prods Germany With Fiscal Plan

26-Jun (The New York Times) — European leaders increased the pressure on Germany to move more aggressively to defend the euro on Tuesday by publishing proposals for a more tightly knit European Union, with phased-in moves toward central banking supervision, unified deposit insurance and more sharing of the region’s debt burden.

Drawn up by the top European Union officials — the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy; the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso; the European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi; and the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker — the plan has weight, and it seems to reflect a new willingness in Europe to isolate Berlin and compel it to accept changes it has steadfastly resisted.

The 10-year “road map” was drafted after months of discussions with the 27 member countries, especially with the 17 that use the euro. It calls for immediate steps “towards a genuine economic and monetary union,” and is meant to provide the agenda for the European Union summit meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. It is also intended to give the financial markets confidence that the European Union will stand behind its members and its common currency — a harder task, given that much of the plan would take many months to negotiate and ratify.

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