Barroso warns Germany against less austerity

Barroso warns Germany against less austerity
Photo: DPA. Barroso (l) with Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit.
The President of the European Commission has advised Germany to maintain the austerity programme in Europe as negotiations between Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats begin in earnest.

In an interview on Wednesday with the Bild newspaper, José Manuel Barroso said: “It would not be wise to abandon the current path of balancing budgets, structural reforms and direct investment.”

But he added that at the same time Europe should focus on “building confidence, growth and creating new jobs”.

Barroso belongs to the same conservative European bloc as Merkel’s CDU – the European People’s Party but his call is likely to be directed to Germany’s Social Democrats, news site Spiegel said.

The centre-left party, who are in negotiations with the CDU and their Bavarian allies, the CSU, to form a new government in Germany, believe some of Merkel’s austerity policies have worsened the problems of struggling southern European economies.

In the interview Barroso also described the commission’s reputation for petty bureaucracy as unfair. He said the commission wanted to reduce bureaucracy and did not want to rule every last detail of people’s lives.

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