Monday 18 December 2017

Merkel 'astonished' that we don't like her austerity policy

Bruno Waterfield in Brussels

Angela Merkel last night expressed astonishment that the rest of Europe is not pro-austerity.

The German chancellor said the current debate in Europe and beyond "gives the impression that, for us Germans, saving, as such, is pleasurable".

"It's just about not spending more than you collect," she said in a speech in Berlin. "It's astonishing that this simple fact leads to such debates."

Germany has repeatedly insisted that indebted eurozone nations including Ireland, Greece and Spain must impose sweeping austerity programmes to get their finances under control.

Meanwhile, the leader of Syriza, the Greek leftist anti-austerity party said Greece would remain in the eurozone even if his party won the election on June 17.

"A vote for the left does not mean that we would leave the euro. Quite the opposite, we would keep the euro," said Alexis Tsipras.

"I do not think rejection of the austerity programme means the country would have to leave the eurozone." (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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