Schäuble sees no danger of losing credit rating

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Saturday he saw no danger of Germany losing its top grade with the world's credit ratings agencies, considering the budget cuts the government has made.

Schäuble sees no danger of losing credit rating
Photo: DPA

“As long as we continue our sensible policies we needn’t fear anything,” Schäuble said at the government’s open day in Berlin.

The minister said the work of the agencies were superior to government bodies that perform a similar task, but warned that it was not good that there were only three such companies in the western world.

Schäuble added that the agencies had made several serious errors, mentioning their failure to predict the 2008 financial crisis as an example.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s recently deprived the US of its top AAA rating, though its main rivals Moody’s and Fitch have decided not to.

Schäuble also took the opportunity to reiterate the government’s refusal to countenance the idea of eurobonds. He said as long as the European financial policy was not unified and there was no European Union finance minister there could be no unified interest rates on European bonds.

He said varying interest rates were a motivation for governments to balance their books.


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Paris, Berlin agree on future eurozone budget: French ministry source

France and Germany have agreed on the broad outlines of a proposed eurozone budget which they will present to EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, a French finance ministry source said.

Paris, Berlin agree on future eurozone budget: French ministry source
French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (R) and German Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz. File photo: AFP

The common single-currency budget was one of French President Emmanuel Macron's key ideas for protecting the euro, but it caused differences between France and Germany, the region's two largest economies.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Germany's minister, Olaf Scholz, will “jointly present a proposition on Monday… about the layout for a budget for the eurozone,” the ministry source told AFP.

“It's a major step forward,” the source said. “We will look forward to sharing with other members.”

The source said the amount of the budget has not been established as the proposal was to first set out the “architecture and main principles” of the budget.

According to a copy of the French-German proposal, the budget would be part of the EU budget structure and governed by the 19 euro members.

Macron will travel to Berlin at the weekend to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where the two leaders will bolster their alliance as champions of a united Europe.

READ ALSO: France and Germany push for compromise on eurozone reform