Tuesday 23 January 2018

Schaeuble rejects euro breakup, touts Germany as European model

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the euro area won’t break up and cited his government’s deficit-cutting path as a model for the rest of Europe.

“When countries have problems, many people look for the culprits outside their borders,” Schaeuble was cited as saying in an interview published today in Bild newspaper.

“Of course teachers’ pets are never terribly popular, especially if they say, ‘Do it our way.’ But there’s no way around it -- nobody was forced to join the currency union.”

German economic policy, coupled with fiscal austerity, yields “good growth with social stability,” Schaeuble said, as the 16 euro countries seek ways to stop Europe’s debt crisis and end speculation the currency area will split.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is seeking “primacy” for policy makers over financial markets.

“The financial markets are testing whether the construction of the common currency area will hold,” Bild cited Schaeuble as saying.

Splitting off the euro’s most stable nations would be “infinitely more expensive” than defending the currency area and entail “massive problems” for banks.

The European Union’s future system for making bondholders share the cost of sovereign bailouts is “practically agreed,” Schaeuble said. “The financial industry has to learn that taxpayers don’t always foot the bill alone.”

Germans’ doubts about the euro “aren’t justified,” he was cited as saying. “Without the euro, every German would be poorer” and unemployment would be higher.

Bloomberg

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