Kurt Laouk, head of the Economic Council of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has expressed opposition to Cyprus assuming the Presidency of the European Union on July 1, following the island nation's request for a bailout.
To Vima reported that Laouk, spokesman for Angela Merkel said "It is unacceptable for a country that was forced to seek help is able to assume the presidency of the EU Council."
He went on to say "How can Cyprus to manage crises when she is in the midst of a crisis? There will never be able to cure Europe, if the chairman is in intensive care with a highly contagious disease."
Indeed the views expressed extend to other European nations in need of bailouts. Laouk also said that Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece, cannot exercise the presidency of the EU as they are in need of financial help.
Cyprus is due to assume the presidency of the European Union on July 1. The Institute of International and Economic Affairs has already acknowledged that the agenda of the Cypriot Presidency was developed "with a clear understanding of the limits of the Presidency’s role...given the ongoing economic crisis and its socio-economic impacts."
The German foreign ministry has distanced itself from the opinions expressed by Merkel's Economic Council.
Yesterday Cyprus became the fifth European nation to request a bailout.