In an interview with the FT, French Europe Minister Pierre Lellouche has said that the eurozone's €440bn debt guarantee scheme marks an "unprecedented" change to the EU treaties. "It is an enormous change," Mr Lellouche said. "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," he added. "The €440bn mechanism is nothing less than the importation of Nato's Article 5 mutual defence clause applied to the eurozone. When one member is under attack the others are obliged to come to its defence."
The French minister conceded that it required a lot of effort to make the Franco-German relationship work, likening the current challenge to postwar reconciliation between the two countries. He added that France accepted as "normal" that Germany now asserted its own national interests, Mr Lellouche said. "Since when did we expect Germany to act as cash cow indefinitely?"
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