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Schäuble: Worst of the euro crisis 'behind us'
Photo: DPA

Schäuble: Worst of the euro crisis 'behind us'

Published: 28 Dec 2012 07:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Dec 2012 07:05 GMT+01:00

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he believes the embattled eurozone is already past the peak of its three-year-long debt crisis, citing positive developments in Greece and France.

In an interview with mass-circulation Bild newspaper on Friday, Schäuble said: "I think the worst is behind us."

"The government in Athens knows that it must not overburden other eurozone

member states. Therefore it is pressing ahead with reforms," he said.

He also expressed optimism about the pace of reform in fellow eurozone powerhouse France, saying Paris "was well aware that every country must constantly carry out reforms in order to stay competitive."

Schäuble, 70, appeared more optimistic on what lies ahead for the eurozone than Chancellor Angela Merkel who has steadfastly refused to sound the all-clear.

Speaking after the EU picked up its Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month, Merkel said she could not "completely" declare the crisis over, describing herself as a "prudent optimist."

In contrast, French President Francois Hollande has repeatedly said the eurozone crisis, which has at times threatened the very existence of the 17-country currency union, was past.

Turning to the German economy, the bloc's largest, Schäuble said he was counting on "decent" growth next year, driven by trade with the United States and Asia.

"The situation is better than expected because of stronger trade with the US and Asia, among other things. The German economy will therefore grow at a decent rate in 2013," Schäuble said.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:04 December 28, 2012 by Englishted
I have read "Schäuble's Secret Austerity Plan for Germany" in the Spiegel on line ,so somebody somewhere is not telling the truth are you Herr Schäuble.
11:28 December 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
What Schaueble really means is there is 'an election in 2013' so close your eyes until then'.
12:12 December 28, 2012 by Steve1949
What positive developments in Greece is he referring to? The latest cash giveaway maybe? I think this whole Euro thing is a complete scam and nothing less.
14:48 December 29, 2012 by www.emungus.net
... AND WHAT ABOUT BEDMATE ENGLAND?

Men are all-time optimistic women are usually chary; Merkel displays a tempered attitude , Francois Hollande and Wolfgang Schäuble sound the all-clear. So shall we breathe a sigh of relief and say the European Union(EU) had headed to safer solid ground? Well done.

However, by all accounts, EU has its back to the wall, she might be needing every member states input, what about the UK? The well-dressed masked ball between Europe and Great-Britain appears to be still rolling on... As a special lady, she appreciates special treats. Is Sir EU still asking lady England for a dance? That one would be a jerky one, as usual. With her one-foot-in-one-foot out England becomes somewhat annoying. Does really she deserves any particular treat? Why would she? Don¦#39;t they say that one eats by the sweat of they brow? Without providing effort, England is tempted to impose her game to Germany and France (founding countries of the EU) and dictate her will to Brussels. Furthermore, without fixed point, choice making becomes uneasy; is this the case at Downstreet 10? No clue, we fall into abeyance. The right question is : can Europe trust England? not quite sure; unsatisfied desires may prompt an unsatisfied partner out looking for other bedmates. England is a cute European lady but she loves well hung cowboy guys. Nevertheless, she must watch her steps since cowboys never give gifts (…)
12:56 December 30, 2012 by blackboot11
By the look on their faces in this foto,I don't think that even they believe that one...
13:44 December 30, 2012 by US-TommyBoy
You all have good points. Always beware when politicians say, "it is getting better."

Where were they when they caused the crash? Of course they can say things are "getting better". That is like the Titanic captain saying, "things are getting better, we are sinking more slowly."

The phrase they did not mention is, "Things ARE BETTER."

Greece and France improved? How is rioting in the streets in Greece, and the French courts ruling that tax rates at 75% are unfair?

All I know sitting here in the 'States" is that Germany will benefit from successful businesses and entrepreneurs running from the PIIGS and France due to business climates and high taxes that make it impossible to get ahead.

Protect your borders and work with nations that are less corrupt. and I have said it before, Russia is less corrupt than the PIIGS and France.
20:13 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
Russia is less corrupt than Ireland and France and the rest .

Not from what I have heard.

Do tell where the info comes from @ US-TommyBoy
01:56 December 31, 2012 by jg.
Every three months for the last year or so, there has been a crisis because Greece has not met required austerity targets and payments from the EU have been in doubt. Every time, a deal has been reached at the last minute which has saved Greece from bankruptcy. In all the previous cases, we were told that the problems for Greece were all resolved - but this last time, they haven't bothered. Nothing has been done to change this 3 month cycle with Greece and it will continue.

The full extent of problems for Spain are still unclear, because the Spanish are still insisting that the properties on which Spanish banks have so much debt still hold value, despite the fact that they cannot sell them.

Like Spain and Greece, italy and other EZ members are still suffering under austerity and many of their citizens want to see substantial changes in the status quo.

Anyone who thinks that the worst of the Euro problems are over is deluded. Fiscal union won't be a magic bullet which makes all the EZ sovereign debts disappear. Worse still, if the US reaches the Fiscal Cliff, then the automatic cuts and tax rises will likely provoke a recession in the USA which would affect exports from the EU.
08:24 January 1, 2013 by raandy
Herr Schäuble compromised his insistance that the ECB should not be the supervising authority for all banks in the EZ. Now the ECB will supervice and have authority over about 150 to 200 banks in the zone ,those with assets over 30B euros , almost all of Germanys retail banking will remain under Frankfurt . Schäuble believes that to put all banks under he ECB would create a stepping stone to more risk sharing, which is not in the best interest of German taxpayers.

The single currency for now has some breathing room.

The future of the EZ as an entity has a long way to go before any real improvement will be forthcoming.It will be a major task for these Nations that have for years been sliding down the slippery slope of non competitiveness to be turned around merely by austerity.

Mrs Merkel has stated that 2013 will see some rough times for the EZ which is a clear warning that serious problems lie ahead.
03:38 January 2, 2013 by US-TommyBoy
Sorry it took so long Englishted.

Are any Euros subsidizing unemployed Russians? Are any Euros subsidizing the Political regime of Russia?

Has at any time Russia tried to be the Euro friend while taking billions is subsidies.

Russia you know where you stand. The PIIGS and France? Especially France..during the big war, WWII an honored US General Patton said quite explicitly, "I would rather have the Germans in front of me than France behind me."

Bottom line, who keeps needing bailouts and subsidies to support economies that the politicians will not right? Who caused the woes on the Euro? GDP back to zero for the PIIGS by 2010. Good luck doing the same old thing that got you there.
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