Monday, September 5, 2011

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder calls for "United States of Europe"

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Sunday called for the creation of a "United States of Europe," saying the bloc needed a common government to avoid future economic crises.

Schroeder, a Social Democrat who ran the country from 1998 to 2005, said in an interview with Der Spiegel that European Union leaders were wrong to expect the euro to drive the bloc on its own.

"The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy," Schroeder said.

He added: "We will have to give up national sovereignty."

"From the European Commission, we should make a government which would be supervised by the European Parliament. And that means the United States of Europe."

Schroeder, who nurtured a close relationship with France during his leadership, welcomed an initiative launched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to move toward a fiscal union in 2012. more