German Politician Slams Deutsche Bank CEO Over Bank Bailout | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 02.10.2008
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German Politician Slams Deutsche Bank CEO Over Bank Bailout

The leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) has lashed out at Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann for suggesting Germany come up with a bailout plan for struggling banks.

Deutsche Bank head Josef Ackermann

Deutsche Bank boss Josef Ackermann has irked some with calls for a state rescue of banks

Ackermann said Wednesday, Oct 1 that private European banks and governments should have the ability to counter "systematic risks" to financial markets through a safety net.

"If the United States has a rescue plan, Europe should be ready to offer similar solutions," he said, as quoted by Dow Jones Newswires.

But Peter Struck, head of the German Social Democratic Party's parliamentary group, castigated the head of Germany's largest bank for his comments, saying he "felt contempt" for the "type of opportunism" shown by Ackermann.

"As long as the banks were on course for making profits, Mr. Ackermann was the one screaming loudest that the state shouldn’t get involved," Struck told news agency DPA, adding that Ackermann's tune has changed now that profits are threatened by the credit crisis.

Struck said that attitude made it particularly irksome that the head of Germany’s leading bank is "now the first to call for massive aid from taxpayer funds" to help prop up crumbling financial institutions.

No bailout for Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly opposed any Europe-wide bailout strategy

Complementing Struck's talk down of Ackermann were comments made by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said: "The alliance will not issue any blank checks to banks, whether they behave responsibly or not."

Merkel said she favoured "better protection and early warning systems" over a bailout package, insisting European banking regulations needed upgrading.

"It cannot be that … in finance markets, several billion products exist to which no sufficient rules count," she said.

At a European level, there also seems to be distaste for a financial bailout package with Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the group of countries that share the euro, insisting Thursday that no consideration was being given to a gigantic euro bailout.

"I do not see the necessity for such a program in Europe," he said, pleading for more intensive regulation of the finance sector.

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