Sept. 14 - Pressure mounts on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to move her thinking towards a controlled Greek insolvency as Europe fails to get its debt crisis under control. Matt Cowan reports.
As the 17-member euro zone lurches from one dilemma to the next, the richest member of the bloc is learning that economic strength has its disadvantages. Germany has been a strong advocate for keeping the euro zone intact. But pressure is mounting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to change her thinking towards a controlled Greek insolvency as Europe fails to get its debt crisis under control. German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler, who leads the junior party in Merkel's coalition government on Monday pulled away from the Chancellor's strict line that Greece must be saved. SOUNDBITE: GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER PHILIPP ROESLER, SAYING: (German) "To stabilise our common currency, there can no longer be any taboos. That includes, if necessary, an orderly bankruptcy of Greece." On the Dax trading floor where they've seen their highest losses in two years over the past two weeks, Baader Bank's Robert Halver says he's hoping for a shift in policy. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT HALVER FROM BAADER BANK AG, SAYING (English) : "I guess reality is dawning in Berlin, even in the ruling coalition, that Greece cannot be a member of the euro zone any longer. That's why, let's send them out, please. Because it's good for them and for us." U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing the euro zone's big countries to show leadership, but the German public seems divided over whether Greece should be saved or not. SOUNDBITE: HILDE SCHMIDT, SAYING (German) : "What we are doing is a delayed filing of insolvency. The EU is instigating a delayed filing of insolvency. And if a company did that in Germany it would go to jail!" SOUNDBITE: LARA KNEISLER SAYING (English): "I am not sure. First of all, there must be solidarity. Of course. Because you cannot chose to be in the Union and then just drop it." SOUNDBITE: (English) PASSER BY, RAFFAELA NIDEL, SAYING: "We can't pick everybody up. We have to look... Germany has to look at their own country because we have many problems in our country. First of all we have to find a solution here and then we can concentrate on Greece." A new version of the European Financial Stability Fund which would see the powers of the bailout fund widened is also coming under renewed scrutiny. A vote on the EFSF will take place on September 29. If Merkel fails to get a majority in the vote from her own ranks, it could undermine her ability to lead Europe's largest economy at a time when Europe desperately needs strong leadership. Matt Cowan, Reuters