Ralph Atkins

Germans certainly have their own style at a time of crisis. As Angela Merkel’s government faced a backlash over its attempts to control speculators, Karl Otto Pöhl, the former Bundesbank president was offering a hardline view on the eurozone’s failings. The ECB was breaking the rules by buying government bonds, Mr Pöhl, 80, told Der Spiegel. The basis on which the eurozone operated had “changed fundementally” and the euro was likely to fall further. The Greece bailout was “about rescuing banks and rich Greeks,” he added for good measure.

His comments certainly highlighted German anger at the eurozone rescue package launched last week – and the pressure Axel Weber, the current Bundesbank president, faces from his stern predecessors. But that will hardly help calm financial market fears that EU policymakers’ hearts are not really into sorting out the mess. Read more