Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's uncompromising
stance on Europe's financial crisis faced mounting criticism Saturday as
senior political figures urged her to reconsider her rejection of
"One cannot categorically rule out resorting to
eurobonds. They could become vital," European Energy Commissioner
Guenther Oettinger said in an interview with Die Welt.
In an article entitled "How much longer will Merkel
resist the pressure?" the newspaper said Oettinger, who belongs to
Merkel's party, was expressing an opinion shared by most in the
Merkel has adopted a hard line against the introduction
of eurobonds, arguing that Germany -- Europe's largest economy and the
state with the lowest borrowing costs -- would pick up the tab if
eurozone debt were pooled.
At an economic forum in Hamburg on Friday, former
chancellor Helmut Schmidt argued that Merkel's inflexible attitude was a
threat to the country.
"With her policies, Merkel has isolated Germany in
Europe," said the 92-year-old Schmidt, a respected statesman and fervent
pro-European. "It never ends well when Germany is isolated in Europe."
Merkel, whose stance since the start of the crisis has
earned her the nickname of "iron chancellor", is due to meet French
President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday.
European leaders will then meet in Brussels on Thursday
and Friday in in their latest effort to solve a debt crisis that has
pushed several members to the brink of bankruptcy, kept world markets on
edge and rattled the foundations of the union.