“We have to end this discussion rather quickly,” he told the Friday edition of the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
He defended the unpopular economic and welfare reforms pushed through under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, for whom Steinmeier served as chief of staff of the Chancellery.
Pointing to the reduction in the country's unemployment and falling poverty as results of the Agenda 2010, Steinmeier said: “This all speaks for itself and will continue to.”
In reference to the SPD's conflicted internal approach to the reforms – some left-wingers would like to roll them back completely – Steinmeier said people were no longer concerned about policy decisions made five years ago. Instead they were looking for “the right answers for the future,” he said.