EU 'can't throw money from helicopters': German minister
The EU cannot "throw money from helicopters," German Economy Minister Rainer Bruderle said on Tuesday during a visit to Rome, referring to efforts to control a spiralling debt crisis in the 16-nation eurozone.
"You can't just throw money from helicopters ... You have to create confidence in institutions, in the state, in public authorities," Bruderle told reporters, speaking in German with an Italian translation.
The phrase "throwing money from a helicopter" is economic slang for how a government may create endless amounts of money to pour into its economy until finally it gets some traction -- even if the ultimate cost is higher inflation and a debased currency.
Referring to Ireland, Bruderle said: "It's up to the Irish government to ask for assistance from the International Monetary Fund or from European funds."
He called on eurozone economies like Greece and Ireland to engage in deficit-reducing reforms "in order not to require assistance any more.
"The European community as a whole has an interest in finding a way to have guarantees of a solution when there are difficulties," he added.
He continued: "The situation in Italy is different, with no tension."
The European Commission on Tuesday said it was holding talks with the IMF and the European Central Bank to resolve the Irish banking crisis.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy warned early that the 27-nation bloc's very future could be at stake.
"If we don't survive with the eurozone we will not survive with the European Union," he said.
© 2010 AFP