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10 February, 2018
Olaf Scholz: We won’t dictate to other European countries
Photo: The SPD's Olaf Scholz, in Berlin | John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images
The man likely to be become Germany’s new finance minister signalled a break with past policy.
Germany should not dictate the economic policies of other eurozone countries, according to Olaf Scholz, the current mayor of Hamburg who is likely to become the country’s new finance minister under Germany’s coalition government.
Scholz also told Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, that he favored a balanced budget and “sound finances” for Europe’s largest economy.
“We don’t want to dictate to other European countries how they should develop,” Scholz told Der Spiegel in an interview published Saturday, “Mistakes were surely made in the past.”
The comments by Scholz, a Social Democrat, mirror previous statements by others in his political party, who had criticized the often harsh treatment of other eurozone economies, notably Greece and Portugal. European authorities have forced these countries to enact significant budget cuts and other belt-tightening measures to reduce their overall national debt burdens.
Scholz is expected to become Germany’s new finance minister after Angela Merkel made a series of concessions, including a number of high-level ministerial posts, to the Social Democrats to secure her fourth term in office after last September’s nationwide election.