'Europe will fail if struggling countries cannot leave euro', warns grandson of man behind the EUStephan Werhahn has quit the pro-euro Christian Democratic UnionHe is standing as a candidate for a eurosceptic partyClaims German bailout policies do not honour his grandfather's views
18:24 GMT, 26 December 2012
The grandson of a statesman seen as the architect of the EU has warned that 'Europe will fail' if debt-stricken countries are forced to stick with the euro.
Stephan Werhahn quit the Christian Democratic Union, which was founded by his grandfather Konrad Adenauer, to switch to a eurosceptic party.
The German financial consultant plans to stand as a candidate for the Free Voters (Freie Wahlen) because he believes Greece should not be propped up with loans from his country.
Mr Werhahn, 59, said Chancellor Angela Merkel's zealous backing for the euro was 'not in the tradition of my grandfather'.
Dissenting voice: German Stephan Werhahn said he does not believe his country should prop up others with bailout loans
Konrad Adenauer, left, speaks to German President Theodor Heuss in 1956. Playing between them is the young Mr Werharn, son of Adenauer's daughter Libet.
The euro should be limited to a handful of similar northern European countries, argued Mr Werhahn, letting other states leave it and re-boot their economies.
He claimed that Mrs Merkel was 'levelling everyone like a steamroller', according to The Times.
The Free Voters only have about 10 per cent of the vote in Bavaria but are planning a nationwide campaign in September's federal elections.
However, Mrs Merkel is seen as determined to impose economic discipline on Greece in return for bailout loans, and is expected to win a third term as Chancellor next year on the back of this plan.
Mr Werhahn is one of few eurosceptic politicians in Germany, with the biggest parties supporting the 17-nation eurozone.
Now, he and a growing number of economists have warned that if a second write-off of Greek debts became necessary, it would cost German taxpayers dear and deepen animosities in Europe.
Euro 2012: Mr Werhahn said Angela Merkel, left, was not 'following in the tradition of his grandfather' Konrad Adenauer, right, Germany's first post-war Chancellor
Mr Werhahn said the euro had created such economic tensions in the system that it had led to riots, adding: 'If you want to be pro-Europe, you have to make sure that the citizens of Europe are happy and not that the central institutions are happy.
'As a CDU man and Adenauer’s grandson, I had serious concerns that this cannot go on like this, that Europe will fail if the euro is forced upon these countries instead of letting them go.
'Do we want to pour money into the poor uncompetitive countries or to find some other way, for example by letting them have their currency'
He even said the currency’s troubles were increasing tensions between member states, with some Greeks harking back to when the country was occupied by Germany during the Second World War and comparing the situation to 'the Fourth Reich'.