Germany's Schaeuble assures India on eurozone stability

20th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

Germany's finance minister was looking to reassure India Tuesday that the eurozone is not about to lurch into a fresh crisis ahead of talks with his counterpart in New Delhi.

Wolfgang Schaeuble was due to meet with Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the second day of a visit that has already seen him hold talks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

There have been fresh fears of a break-up of the eurozone ahead of elections in Greece this weekend, tipped to be won by a radical left-wing coalition which wants to abandon the austerity imposed on Athens as part of the country's 240-billion-euro ($282 billion) bailout.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the effective paymaster for eurozone bailouts, is reportedly prepared to let Greece leave the eurozone if the Syriza coalition comes to power.

But speaking to journalists on Monday night after his meeting with Modi, Schaeuble said he had tried to assuage any possible concerns within the Indian government that the eurozone was in for a bumpy ride.

"The crux of our talks was whether Europe is going to remain on a stable trajectory", said Schaeuble.

"As you know, I am an optimist in this regard," he added.

Schaeuble did not directly address the issue of Greece, but instead pointed to a tightening of eurozone banking regulations and a drive to push through a series of economic reforms in France as reasons to be upbeat.

"France is clearly moving ahead with its reforms," he added.

Describing Modi as "impressive", Schaeuble said their talks had also touched on "the events in Paris and the issue of fundamentalism" after the recent deadly Islamist attacks, without going into details.


© 2015 AFP

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