Friday Jul 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Germany's Schaeuble sees no deflation threat in Europe

By Noah Barkin & Gernot Heller

Recent turmoil in emerging markets will hit export-oriented European economies but there are no signs the bloc that shares the single currency is headed towards deflation, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

Speaking to Reuters as part of a series of interviews with top policymakers across the eurozone, Schaeuble signaled a readiness to help emerging market countries that have seen their currencies sink to multi-year lows in past weeks as part of a broad market sell-off.

"We will help the emerging markets, within the limits of our possibilities, to solve their problems just as they stood by us in past years," Schaeuble said, pointing to a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Australia later this month.

"The difficult situation in some emerging markets affects us of course. We are all dependent on exports, Germany more than other countries," he added.

But Schaeuble, who started his second term as finance minister in December, said he agreed with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that falling prices were not a danger for the eurozone, despite a drop in the bloc's inflation rate to 0.7 percent last month and warnings from the International Monetary Fund that deflation is a potential risk.

"There is no deflation danger in Europe," Schaeuble said. "We understand deflation as a reluctance to spend in the anticipation of falling prices. And there are no signs of this."

In a wide-ranging interview, Schaeuble also played down the risks of last week's ruling by Germany's Constitutional Court on Draghi's bond-buying scheme.

The court decided to refer complaints against the so-called Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program to the European Court of Justice, but it also voiced concerns that the ECB went beyond its mandate with the scheme.

Although the OMT plan has never been used, it is widely credited with restoring confidence in the euro zone after years of crisis that had threatened to tear the 18-member bloc apart.

Some experts, including the head of Germany's ZEW think tank Clemens Fuest, have said the court decision severely blunts the OMT program.

Schaeuble dismissed those concerns, saying the details of the OMT were secondary to the broad message sent by the ECB and European governments that they would not let the euro zone break apart.

"I think the return of financial market confidence in the stability of the euro has been due not only, not even primarily, to the ECB's (OMT) announcement," Schaeuble said.

"When leaders of government on the one hand, and the central bank on the other, say they will do what is necessary, then financial markets need not worry."

Schaeuble also touched on a referendum in Switzerland at the weekend in which voters approved new limits to immigration from the European Union, saying fears about the free movement of people in Europe needed to be taken seriously.

But he played down the risks of a strong performance by populist, anti-immigration and euroskeptic parties in European Parliament elections in May, saying this would only push bigger mainstream parties to work more closely together.

"If we have stronger euroskeptic voices in the next European Parliament, then it will raise the pressure on everyone else to commit even more strongly to European integration, to react to this result and make Europe more efficient," he said.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote and despite strong resistance in other European capitals, Schaeuble said Germany would not drop its push for changes to the EU's Lisbon Treaty that it argues are necessary to ensure closer integration.

"I think we will have a discussion about this at the beginning of the term of the next European Parliament and European Commission, and I am optimistic we will get a solution," Schaeuble said, predicting progress in 2015. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday February 11, 2014 (12:01)  
Illegal betting worth 5.5-6 billion euros
Wait is still on for many taxpayers
Hardouvelis to push for milestones target
IMF insists on eurozone lightening Greeces debt
PPC to look into death of disabled customer
The Public Power Corporation (PPC) launched an administrative inquiry on Thursday into why electricity supplied to the home on Crete of a quadriplegic customer on life support was cut, resul...
Boutaris plans Islamic art museum for Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris on Thursday announced plans to establish a museum of Islamic art in Greeces northern port city. Boutaris, who was re-elected in May, told Kathimerini he h...
Inside News
TRACK & FIELD
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Paco Borao, the man who restored Athens as the Marathon capital of the world with the establishment at the Olympic Sports Center of the headquarters of the International Association of Marat...
TRACK & FIELD
Pole vault record on same day as three doping cases
Greek track and field had a mixed weekend, as on the same day as Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record in pole vault as well as the leading result in Europe so far this season, thre...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
When evaluation is seen as useless
The reactions toward the governments plans for an evaluation of public sector workers are completely unsurprising. Civil servants and not just the unions that represent them abhor the m...
EDITORIAL
Playing the good guy
There is a part of the government that is striving to fulfill the commitments that Greece has undertaken toward its foreign creditors, most of which pertain to reforms that are absolutely es...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Illegal betting worth 5.5-6 billion euros
2. Wait is still on for many taxpayers
3. Hardouvelis to push for milestones target
4. IMF insists on eurozone lightening Greeces debt
5. Investors buy into possible rating upgrade
6. PPC to look into death of disabled customer
more news
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Efforts continue on Crete to find 'Sifis' the crocodile
3. Democracy 'retreated' during crisis, says Papoulias
4. Family of deceased woman on life support says application for 'special status' had been filed with PPC
5. Medical assistance for Acropolis visitors
6. Presidential election will not lead to snap elections, Samaras tells ND deputies
Today
This Week
1. Greece seen in third bailout as bonds not enough, economists say
2. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
3. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
4. Greek banks able to tap investors after stress tests, HFSF Says
5. Unequal after death
6. Death on MH17 and our global war
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.