Dutch bank chief critical of US economic policy

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Netherlands Central Bank President Nout Wellink has sharply criticised the US approach to its economic problems.

Speaking in Washington on the eve of an IMF meeting, Mr Wellink said the Obama government cannot solve the problems facing the global economy by simply pointing the finger at China. Washington's deficit needs to be brought down, he said. "The rest of the world is taking measures, while the US deficit has never before been so high for so long," he added.

The Dutch bank president was responding to international tensions felt recently on the currency exchange markets. The US and China are head-to-head over the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan, which Washington wants to go up. Other countries have been taking action to keep their own currency at a low level.

Yen Mr Wellink denies, however, that there is a "currency war" going on, saying that if anything, it is a verbal war. The recent rise of the euro against the dollar is not a cause for concern either. The European common currency reached an eight-month high of 1.40 US dollar on Thursday. "The euro-dollar rate is not the only relation that matters. Germany for instance profited because of the expensive yen, which enabled them to sell more cars in euros all over the world."

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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