Tags: Germany | EU | Growth | Hollande

Germany Maps Out Steps to EU Growth After Hollande’s Election

Monday, 07 May 2012 08:07 AM

Germany sees business-friendly changes and not government stimulus as the way to spur economic growth in Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman said.

The comments by Steffen Seibert are the German government’s most detailed reaction yet to Socialist Francois Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election after he campaigned on efforts to spur growth, clashing with Merkel’s insistence on budget austerity across Europe.

“The question is what kind of growth you mean,” Seibert told reporters in Berlin today. “We have to create the conditions for companies to be productive and innovative so they can give people jobs.”

“We have to get rid of the restraints holding them back,” Seibert said. “We have to scale back bureaucracy. It’s about all of that, and the fact that only a country that gets serious about reducing debt is a country that gains the confidence of people and business.”

Merkel, who backed incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and rebuffed Hollande’s calls for reopening the European Union’s fiscal pact, has invited the French president-elect to Berlin for an inaugural visit expected “very soon,” Seibert said.

Economic reforms to stem the euro area’s debt crisis “require political courage” without relying on government spending that “we in Europe probably can’t even afford,” he said. Merkel and Hollande “are very much committed” to German- French cooperation and the chancellor is “convinced that she has a reliable partner in Francois Hollande.” She’s looking forward to his visit, he added.

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Monday, 07 May 2012 08:07 AM
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