High Praise for Greece's Efforts from Germany ; Finance Chief Applauds Painful Choices and Calls on Europe to Help Further

By Ewing, Jack | International New York Times, January 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

High Praise for Greece's Efforts from Germany ; Finance Chief Applauds Painful Choices and Calls on Europe to Help Further


Ewing, Jack, International New York Times


Wolfgang Schauble also said that Germany had begun doing more to stimulate domestic demand, answering criticism that the country had been overly focused on austerity.

One of Germany's top political leaders offered unusually generous praise on Friday for Greece's efforts to deal with its economic crisis, and said that other European countries should help Greece deal with an influx of immigrants to prevent them from becoming fodder for right-wing parties.

Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister, also said that Germany had begun doing more to stimulate domestic demand, answering criticism that the country has been overly focused on austerity and stingy in sharing its own economic success. Germany has Europe's largest economy, and higher consumer spending there would help the rest of Europe by increasing demand for goods produced elsewhere.

"We have been asked to do more for domestic demand, and we're doing that," Mr. Schauble said during an appearance here. As an example, he mentioned plans by the newly formed government to increase pension benefits for stay-at-home mothers.

Since the crisis' beginning, Germany has gained a reputation for scolding Greece and other members of the euro zone that allowed government debt to get out of control while neglecting their economic competitiveness. Berlin has insisted on strict austerity programs that have sharpened the economic pain for citizens of Greece and other countries. …

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