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Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:20 PM

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble Tosses Hat Into Ring Seeking to Become "Grand Keiser for All Europe"

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In the truth is stranger than fiction category, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is calling for a political union "now" with a directly elected EU president (and of course he is the unstated logical candidate).

Translation: Schäuble is running for "Grand Keiser of All Europe".

Please consider Schäuble calls for closer EU integration

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, called on Thursday for the EU to move decisively towards a political union in the face of the eurozone crisis, with a directly elected president in Brussels.

In a passionately pro-European speech delivered in Aachen, where he was awarded the annual Charlemagne prize, Mr Schäuble said the economic and financial crisis made it clear that closer European integration was needed.

“We must create a political union now,” he said. But he said that would not mean the creation of a European superstate, or a “United States of Europe”.

A debate was needed on precisely what responsibilities should be transferred to European level, on the principle that whatever tasks could best be done locally, regionally or nationally should not be changed.

One answer would be to give a face to European political union with a directly elected EU president in Brussels.

Mr Schäuble, who is regarded as the most pro-European member of the German government, said the EU urgently needed to improve its negotiating capacity on the world stage, with a more effective common foreign policy, and international treaties signed by all member states together.

“We must have the ambition to do more than simply protect the status quo,” he said.
Wolfgang Schäuble (centre) receives the Charlemagne prize on Thursday

Today the Charlemagne prize, tomorrow the crown of the "Grand Keisership"

I am aware of the correct spelling of Kaiser. Keiser is a joke spelling that has a personal meaning but also seems appropriate for the job.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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