Merkel vs Lagarde: Girls fight over… debt crisis

Berlin: Photo released by German government shows Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) posing with IMF chief Christine Lagarde. (AFP Photo / Bundesregierung)
The ‘Iron Ladies’ of the European debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and IMF Chief Christine Lagarde have clashed to the joy of tweeterers.

­The two have advocated different approaches to turning the euro zone around at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Margaret Thatcher once said that any woman who understands running a home, can understand running a country, but Merkel and Lagarde appear to come from different planets.

The IMF Chief advocates increasing the size of the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s permanent rescue fund due to start in July, of $650 billion. According to her further budget cuts would add pressure on debt troubled countries.

“Resorting to across-the-board, across-the continent, budgetary cuts will only add to recessionary pressure”, she said.

The German Chancellor on the contrary showed herself as a thrifty housekeeper focusing on political reforms and austerity. “It makes no sense if we keep promising more money but not combatting the causes of the crisis”, she said.

"Amid all the billions in aid and rescue funds, we Germans also must watch that we do not lose our strength in the end – because our possibilities are not endless either”, Merkel added.

Though both ladies agreed on the necessity for deeper fiscal integration and stronger growth to solve the crisis, the obvious discordance of opinions was in the limelight.

“Just off the bike from interviewing Christine Lagarde..Some woman..her and Merkel, the big drivers..where are the male leaders of our day?” tweeted Channel 4 TV’s Jon Show

The Daily Express called to follow the competition: “It’s Angela Merkel Vs Christine Lagarde!! See the latest confrontation from the euro zone…”

Even Angela Merkel herself was amused by the “fight” with Lagarde. “Girlie chat with @Lagarde. Mostly talked about curtains. #greece”, she tweeted.

Male participants of the World Economic Forum also discussed the debt crisis issue, but as usual guys’ rows drew less attention than the cat-fight.