Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have failed in their attempt to unify eurozone leaders around a “pact for competitiveness,” according to the FT.
Somewhat surprisingly, it was Merkel and Sarkozy’s key allies at the centre of Europe that didn’t go for the plan. The dissenters included Austria, Belgium, Poland, and the Netherlands.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t ever be a pact resembling Chancellor Merkel’s proposals. Herman Van Rompuy, who is president of the European Council, has been tasked with finding consensus around some sort of deal for the March meeting of the eurozone leaders.
But dissent is varied around the issues. The Poles are upset because it creates a two-tier Europe, one in the eurozone and one outside, with the former making rules for the latter. The Belgians are not pleased because it messes with their rules on inflation indexed salaries. And others still don’t like the fact it will mean more Brussels meddling in national governments.
On top of it all, powers expected to be granted to the region’s bailout were not, resulting in even more uncertainty over an issue that was meant to be settled.