German minister ready to take over

Germany’s finance minister has made it clear that he is prepared to become chairman of the so-called eurogroup, a position that involves chairing eurozone finance ministers’ regular meetings.

BERLIN — Germany’s finance minister has made it clear that he is prepared to become chairman of the so-called eurogroup, a position that involves chairing eurozone finance ministers’ regular meetings.

Wolfgang Schaeuble has frequently been linked to the job, and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker — who says he won’t seek another term leading the eurogroup — has described him as an “ideal candidate.”

Schaeuble has told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper that national leaders must decide, but noted that “as German finance minister, I have to get strongly involved anyway” in eurozone matters.

“That is why I am not saying that I can’t under any circumstances take over the chairmanship, as others have done,” he was quoted as saying in comments published Sunday.

“And I haven’t heard that my colleagues are saying: my God, not Schaeuble.”

The eurogroup job, along with several other positions including the leadership of the eurozone’s permanent rescue fund, is among issues that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to thrash out with incoming French President Francois Hollande.

Merkel will welcome Hollande to Berlin on Tuesday, with attention centring on their differences over how to overcome the eurozone debt crisis.

Hollande has criticized the austerity drive Merkel has championed and called for a greater focus on growth.

German officials have insisted that a Merkel-pushed budget-discipline pact, the so-called fiscal compact, must stand.

“Just as elections and changes of government are normal procedure, it is normal that treaties which have been concluded remain valid after elections,” Schaeuble was quoted as saying.

“That goes for the fiscal compact as well.”

Schaeuble said Germany will listen to Hollande’s proposals with respect, and stressed that it is also interested in growth, but underlined its resistance to stimulus programs financed by new borrowing.

“Higher debts don’t lead to more growth,” he said. “But it would make sense to focus European programs more strongly,” for instance by using them to encourage vocational training, he added.

“Young people’s job opportunities must be more important than more and more highways,” Schaeuble said.

The finance minister also underlined Germany’s continuing resistance to jointly guaranteed government bonds, or Eurobonds, and to the European Central Bank printing money to finance government debt.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19 that it has already banned. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook says it will choose which publishers it will support

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

NDP and Liberals both promised some kind of pharmacare program

William Sandeson arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Canada’s top court has declined to hear a Crown appeal of an overturned murder conviction in the case of a former Nova Scotia medical student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Supreme Court declines to hear Crown appeal of overturned N.S. murder conviction

Canada’s top court has declined to hear an appeal from the Crown… Continue reading

Photo radar cameras are supposed to “augment” the work of regular police officers, yet 91 per cent of speeding tickets in the province are connected to the devices. (Black Press file photo).
March photo radar locations

Photo radar, mobile units and intersection cameras will be in action

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

FILE - The Paramount Pictures gate is pictured on Aug. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. The studio is joining other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. ViacomCBS on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, announced that the studio’s films, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” will go to its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
‘Mission: Impossible 7’ will hit Paramount+ even sooner

90-day theatrical window reduced to 45 days

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Defending champion Einarson stays unbeaten in Tournament of Hearts

Players suggest a spectator-free debut made it less intimidating

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole on his way to winning the Canadian Open Championship at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont. on Sunday Sept.10, 2000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘The Tiger I know is a survivor and a fighter,’ Bill Paul weighs in on Tiger Woods

Woods was hospitalized after a single-vehicle crash near Los Angeles on Tuesday

Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) as Flames' Christopher Tanev (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) defend during first-period NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

Most Read