Thomas de Maizière, currently the interior minister of Germany, but he is the one who negotiated the eurozone aid package in Brussels after Mr Schaeuble was taken ill:
“The philosophy of Europe is based on everyone doing their homework, so there are no bailouts. Article 122 [the emergency aid article of the Lisbon Treaty invoked by the European Commission to launch a rapid-reaction €60 billion loans mechanism for eurozone members, which Germany said could not be used as the legal basis for a much larger €440 billion eurozone defence fund] is an article intended to cover natural disasters. It is not a legal basis for helping countries that have caused their own problems by overspending. What reasons can there be for deviating from this principle? One is if the euro is in danger. A second precondition is that countries being helped must do everything to help themselves. Those two preconditions have now been met, and [the eurozone defence fund] is in line with German law: we are providing loan guarantees under strict conditions, including conditions set by the International Monetary Fund.”
French Europe Minister Pierre Lellouche:
“It is an enormous change. It explains some of the reticence. It is expressly forbidden in the treaties by the famous no bail-out clause. De facto, we have changed the treaty.”
The correct term is not “we have changed the treaty”. It is “we have broken the treaty”.