BERLIN, Sept 3 The chief executive of Germany's
second-biggest lender, Commerzbank, wrote in a German
newspaper on Wednesday that euro zone states should start
issuing common bonds if they are serious about making the euro a
globally strong currency.
"The introduction of such European sovereign bonds would
permanently establish the euro as a globally important currency,
thereby ensuring the sustained importance and competitiveness of
Europe," Martin Blessing wrote in business daily Handelsblatt.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes common bond issuance
by euro zone states, saying joint liability would first require
much higher levels of political and economic union in Europe.
But Blessing said the European Central Bank's (ECB) response
to the euro zone debt crisis, and the bonds issued by the
European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout scheme, meant common
liability was "already a reality: and that "euro bonds have
already been introduced virtually by the back door".
As well as being attractive for investors, Blessing said, a
legally-binding framework for such instruments would have the
advantage of giving member states "strong incentives for fiscal
The German state has a 17 percent stake in Commerzbank,
which was one of the highest-profile casualties of the global
financial crisis. The German government spent about 18 billion
euros bailout out the bank.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown; Editing by Madeline Chambers)