Excerpt from the Guardian’s article on Peer Steinbrück
Whether you agree with all of Steinbrück’s positions or not, he has two important qualities that are in short supply in the current climate: he is competent and honest. A former finance minister whose political stewardship during the financial crisis was widely praised even beyond the borders of Germany, he has for instance published a significant paper on reforming the financial sector. His reform proposals include vital elements such as the separation of investment an retail banking, the creation of a bailout mechanism paid for by the banks, the capping of bonus payments, better oversight of hedge funds and the prohibition of speculation with commodities such as crops. He has recently also urged that eurozone crisis countries should be allowed more time to get their economies back on track and has also made comments against excessive austerity: a bold move in the current German political climate.
Steinbrück is also right to accuse Merkel the of not having communicated the real nature of the European crisis: she continues to talk about a sovereign debt crisis even though, apart from Greece, the real macro-economic instability originated in the private sector. And she looks set to continue down this path. In her new year address she warned German citizens about difficult economic times in 2013, conveniently without mentioning her own role in bringing these economic risks about.
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