December 6, 2011
Former German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, an opposition leader and possible candidate for chancellor in 2013, warned on Tuesday of the perils of a collapse of the euro zone, saying it could revive nationalist sentiment in Europe.
“If the euro zone were to collapse it could quickly lead to a political renationalization in Europe,” Steinbrueck said in a speech to delegates at a party congress of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
Steinbrueck, one of three SPD contenders to carry the party banner into an election due in two years, attacked Chancellor Angela Merkel for stirring anti-European sentiments in Germany by using terms like “transfer union” to refer to the euro zone.
“European integration is the answer for 1945 and it is the answer for the 21st century,” Steinbrueck said in a speech broadcast live on several national television networks.