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Germans need to pay themselves more, says Creighton

EUROPEAN Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton told Germans to pay themselves more to help solve the crisis in Europe.

Ms Creighton told German financial daily 'Handelsblatt' that higher German wages are key to solving Europe's crisis, according to excerpts from an interview to be published today.

German salaries are low by Irish standards and Irish people, including politicians such as Ms Creighton, tend to earn far more than their German equivalents -- something that has caused friction in the past.

Higher salaries in Europe's largest economy would spur more domestic demand and encourage Germans to buy more goods and services from other euro-area countries, helping them out of recession, Ms Creighton is cited as saying.

Ms Creighton said higher salaries would allow Germans to buy more products and services from Europe, according to the Dusseldorf-based newspaper. Higher domestic demand in Germany would be very helpful for other countries, she added.

She was sharply critical of IMF boss Christine Lagarde for speculating about a possible Greek exit from the euro.

"That was wrong," she said. A Greek exit would lead to shock waves for Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, she said.

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