Alright, that wasn't exactly what 'The Iron Frau' said, actually it was "No euro bonds as long as I live" according to Spiegel who also provided the photo.
According to the almost impossible-to-decipher, English translation of Die Welt, the words were somewhat off the cuff rather than considered but even so several of her party MPs immediately wished her a long life! On the other hand:
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said "there's no problem with transferring more rights to Brussels, but the German people will have to make that decision." When pressed, he said that a referendum "will happen sooner than I would have thought a few months ago."
A referendum is absolutely right and proper - after all the entire European construction has always lacked democratic credentials and the sort of major re-construction required to sort out the current disaster must be approved, or otherwise, by the people - especially the Germans who will be paying for it. Incidentally, that should not be taken as any sort of sympathy for the Germans on my part. They have enjoyed a marvellous boost to their economy on the back of a deliberately weakened euro so now the bill is due! Any sort of halfway-house along the lines of so-called 'mutualised debt' stinks as the new, young head of the Bundesbank points out quite forcibly:
"The attempt to communitize debt prior to a deepened integration threatens to endanger the currency union," he writes. "The creation of a debt union in which decisions are not anchored in responsibility, and in which liability for others takes place without controls, would only increase the current political and economic instabilities."
In the meantime, whilst Frau Merkel might be feeling some pressure, her Italian counterpart, Mario Conti, is almost at breaking point. The Italian economy is like one of their cruise ships, sinking slowly after the mad antics of former captains at the helm, and now Italy is having to pay eye-bleeding amounts of interest to borrow the money to keep the ship afloat. The only good news is that old 'Bunga-Bunga' Berlosconi might make a come-back. Not that he has anything useful to offer but at least he would add to the gaiety of nations! Well, he makes me laugh, anyway!
This weekend might prove to be very interesting. If Germany says 'nein' then it's all over bar the shouting - and there will be lots of that! If Frau Merkel is dragged a couple of centimetres further up the road then the longest running tragedy - or farce - of recent times will run a bit longer.