No chance for euro-bonds, EU's Barroso says
The countries that use the European Union's single currency, the euro, are so divided on the question of issuing common bonds that there is no realistic chance of creating them at present, the EU's top official said Wednesday, dpa reported.
"The idea is interesting, but there is very, very clear opposition from a large number of member states," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told journalists in Brussels.
While the commission is in favour of EU-wide instruments "by definition," there would be no point in proposing a measure which has no chance of political acceptance among member states, he said.
The idea of creating a joint bond backed by the eurozone's governments dates back to the early 1990s, when then-commission president Jacques Delors suggested it to the EU's then 12 member states. However, Germany, in particular, opposed the proposal.
Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti revived the idea in the wake of the current financial crisis, as fears grew over the ability of euro users such as Greece and Italy to finance their government debts.
But Germany and France have already spoken out against the idea. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said recently that the issue of such bonds would cost his country some 3 billion euros (3.8 billion dollars) extra a year.