Germany's Schaeuble Says No Plan to Boost Rescue Fund
09/16/2012| 07:25pm US/Eastern
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has no intention of requesting parliament to sign off on additional crisis rescue funds, he said in an interview with the weekly FOCUS magazine.
Mr. Schaeuble says that Ireland and Portugal are making good progress on reforms, while Spain and Italy have taken significant steps to combat the debt crisis. "I see our problems getting smaller rather than larger," he is quoted as saying.
The region's top priority is competitiveness, he adds, since a common currency can't support widely varying economic differences over the long term, noting Germany's experience following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"I can operate with more experience than some financial experts because I know a little bit about how to bring two different economies under the roof of the same currency," Mr. Schaeuble says.
The minister also defends the European Central Bank's plan to purchase sovereign bonds on secondary markets. Such bond purchases are "without a doubt, covered by the European Central Bank's mandate," Mr. Schaeuble is quoted as saying.
"The ECB is acquiring assets with which it can earn money -- and I don't think the ECB will get involved with any bad deals," he says.
For now, euro-zone governments need to do all to overcome a crisis in confidence, he says. "When we've managed that we can take further steps -- though not today or tomorrow."
One such step includes "transferring a significant part of budgetary sovereignty to European Union institutions," he adds.
However, such a step would require a change in the country's constitution and isn't planned in the near future.
Magazine website: http://www.focus.de
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