• Germany edition
 
Merkel slams US ahead of G20 summit
Photo: DPA

Merkel slams US ahead of G20 summit

Published: 10 Nov 2010 15:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2010 15:56 GMT+01:00

Before heading to meet fellow world leaders in Seoul, South Korea, Merkel warned that the recent decision by the US Federal Reserve to pump $600 billion to prop up America’s fragile economy could have unintended consequences.

"Nobody has an interest in creating new bubbles. Instead, we must see to it that growth in the global economy this year is more sustainable and enduring that we had a few years ago," Merkel told reporters.

Critics argue that the Fed's "quantitative easing" stimulus amounts to an effective dollar devaluation, and has the potential to trigger a 1930s-style trade war if other countries respond in kind.

With this in mind, Merkel also pressed her fellow leaders to avoid any form of protectionism, amid criticism that certain countries, notably China and Japan, are keeping their currencies artificially low.

"The biggest danger for sustainable growth is currently coming from protectionism in its different forms," she said, admitting discussions could be “tricky” at the G20 summit. "We are going to discuss this issue with the Americans in a spirit of partnership."

Merkel’s critique of US policy joins a broader German assault led by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle. Both have recently disparaged Washington’s handling of its finances while rejecting US criticism of Germany’s exceptionally high trade surplus.

“We don’t have the slightest interest in conflict,” said Schäuble, who will accompany Merkel to Seoul. “We will do everything we can to help the United States of America in its difficult situation. But it’s not a one-way street.”

Brüderle was even less diplomatic. Speaking to weekly newspaper Die Zeit, he accused the United States of “an unacceptable return to planned economic thinking” once favoured by communist nations.

“It would be absurd to punish those countries that are internationally competitive and are contributing to the global economy’s recovery from the crisis,” he said, adding he was “confident” Germany could fend off unreasonable US demands at the G20.

Brüderle also slammed the growing tendency for nations to keep their currencies artificially low to boost their exports. He accused China, Japan, Brazil and the United States of “indirectly manipulating” foreign exchange markets to their economic advantage.

The Local/AFP/DPA/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:40 November 10, 2010 by William Thirteen
oh sweet irony, now Germany accuses the US of protectionism and resorting to central planning....
02:26 November 11, 2010 by cycle63
well, when you have a POS in the WH that is more left that anyone else in the world, this is exactly what to expect. 2012 cannot come soon enough!
05:42 November 11, 2010 by praymont
The other industrial nations have relied for too long on trade surpluses with the USA. Those surpluses can't last forever. Given the extent of suffering in the USA now, it's perfectly appropriate for the USA to add more stimulus, let its currency de-value, and hopefully start enjoying trade surpluses other nations.
08:48 November 11, 2010 by catjones
Looks like the German 'miracle' is about to end, along with high margins. Did Germany really think they could continue gloating while the U.S. languished? The American public is demanding an economic improvement and the Fed is responding the only way it can. Waiting for the Congress to do anything is a fool's mission regardless of party.
Today's headlines
German hospitals ready for Ebola patients
Hamburg's UKE isolation ward is ready to take patients. Photo: DPA

German hospitals ready for Ebola patients

Germany's high-tech isolation wards remained on alert on Friday, ready to receive Ebola patients should they be required to. German airports seemed less prepared for the potential dangers of the viral epidemic, however. READ  

Two die in Bremen plane crash
The fire caused by the crash. Photo: DPA

Two die in Bremen plane crash

UPDATE: Two men died on Friday afternoon when a plane crashed in Bremen, causing a fire and a series of explosions in a warehouse near the city's airport. READ  

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts
Merkel in Münster last year at a meeting of her party's workers' wing. Photo: DPA

Merkel's party mutinies over tax cuts

Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a rebellion from within her own party on Friday after an unlikely coalition formed in favour of tax cuts for workers on lower incomes. READ  

Expat Dispatches
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Kleingärten in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

'Look at those German shanty towns!'

Visitors to Germany can sometimes be confused by the country's love of allotments in cities, known as a Kleingarten. Teacher and blogger Kathleen Ralf tells us what it's all about. READ  

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport
Closed until further notice: Berlin's troubled new airport. Photo: DPA

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport

Too few lightning rods and an undersized emergency generator have prevented part of Berlin's new airport from opening. Safety inspectors refused to sign off on the airport's north pier, thwarting progress on the massively delayed construction project. READ  

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal
Photo: DPA

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal

Two thirds of Berlin's 12,000 tourist apartments advertised on sites such as Airbnb were being run illegally from Friday following a law change, leaving hosts open to potential punishment. READ  

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains
Fritzi underneath the train. Photo: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Unterschließheim/DPA

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains

A lost pet goat called Fritzi halted trains to Munich Airport and had to be rescued from the tracks after suffering a concussion. READ  

Germany crowned U19 European Champions
Photo: EPA/Tibor Illyes HUNGARY OUT

Germany crowned U19 European Champions

Germany’s U19 football team added to a glorious summer of sport for the country by winning the European Championships in Budapest on Thursday night. READ  

World War I anniversary
100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak
August 1914. German soldiers march off to war in France. Photo: DPA

100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak

A hundred years ago on Friday Germany declared war on Russia and was preparing for an attack on France in the hope that Britain would stay neutral. Four years on, famine was ravaging the country and two million soldiers had been killed on the battlefield. READ  

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban
Photo: DPA

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban

Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is encouraging lawmakers to hurry up and ban fracking in all but name, saying the process is too dangerous to even consider allowing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Meet the man allowed to grow his own cannabis
Photo: DPA
Society
Your lottery numbers are 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Society
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,290
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd