The FINANCIAL -- Germany's
president Sunday called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to explain Europe's
efforts at tackling the euro crisis better to citizens and welcomed a
court challenge to the bloc's new bailout mechanism.
In a rare intervention on current affairs, Joachim Gauck said Merkel "has a duty to explain in a very detailed way" what the policies designed to save the single currency meant for the average person.
"Sometimes it is hard to explain what it is about. And sometimes the energy is lacking to tell the people openly what is going on," added Gauck in extracts of a ZDF television interview to be broadcast later Sunday.
Gauck said he was "pleased" Germany's top court would soon consider challenges to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal pact -- key tools for fighting the crisis.
As EUbusiness reported, the president has agreed to a request by the constitutional court to refrain from signing off on the two laws after their parliamentary approval on June 29.
"The plaintiffs have every right to express their concerns," Gauck said.
The 500-billion-euro ($614 billion) ESM is due to take over from the European Financial Stability Facility and cannot be established without Germany's backing.
The fund was originally to begin operations on July 1 but has been delayed, partly because of the challenge in Germany's constitutional court.
But despite his mild criticism of Merkel, Gauck praised her work in striving for the stability of the eurozone.
"I would not be able to do what she is doing now and accomplish what she is accomplishing," said the president.
And while he said he could be of assistance in explaining the crisis to people, he stressed: "It is not my mission. I am not a replacement government."
Germany's president plays mainly a ceremonial role but also acts as a kind of moral arbiter for the nation.