'Austerity failed in Germany'
Published 02/11/2011 | 05:00
AUSTERITY failed Germany in the 1930s and helped to usher in fascism, the country's opposition Social Democratic leader Sigmar Gabriel said in Dublin yesterday.
He said austerity was not the answer in Greece, which had now come to a "dead end street".
"Germany also thought by cutting it would be able to survive," Mr Gabriel told reporters after a talk about Germany's role in Europe.
He criticised the policies of former chancellor Heinrich Bruning whose efforts to balance the books helped to usher in Adolf Hitler's regime.
Mr Gabriel said blame for the collapse of Greece had to be shared by all of Europe. "The crisis of the eurozone has long become the crisis of European unity."
Turning to Greek plans for a referendum, Mr Gabriel said that everything should be done to keep Greece in the eurozone or markets would question which country was the next to exit.
He reiterated previous comments that the German public should also have their say on any structural changes to European Union treaties.