Markus Ferber ripped into Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union plan to expand the eurozone to any country that wants to join.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission Vice-President, echoed Mr Juncker’s remarks today, as he laid out plans to speed up talks with Romania and Bulgaria
However, Mr Ferber, who is a minister in the German Government and a key ally of Angela Merkel, claimed that opening up the currency to the two eastern European states would mean “another Greece crisis”.
During his address on Wednesday, Mr Juncker urged non-euro zone countries to quickly adopt the single currency so that the European Union can find unite the euro after Brexit.
Since then, Mr Juncker’s deputy has promised to provide technical and financial help to those who want to join.
Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said earlier today that Bulgaria and Romania had both expressed a clear desire to join the eurozone.
In response to this, Mr Ferber, who is the deputy chairman of the economic committee, said the eurozone should not be lenient on the poorer eastern European countries.
He tweeted: “Euro for all EU countries? There are clear criteria and rules for joining. Greece cannot repeat itself.”
Germany was largely responisble for bailing out Greece, after the country triggered a massive debt crisis in the single currency market.
Mr Juncker’s head of cabinet Martin Selmayr defended the move, claiming that Bulgaria has met nearly all the objective critieria needed to join the eurozone.
Countries outside the euro zone include Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Denmark and Britain, but the last two have a formal opt-out from joining – and Britain will leave the EU by 2019.
The rest of the states have a legal obligation to adopt the euro when they meet all the criteria, but there are no set deadlines.