Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Uruguay: President Mujica’s social revolution

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Turkey ‘turns blind eye’ to border-crossing jihadists

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Climate therapy

Read more

FASHION

Jewellery, a lucrative and rapidly growing sector of the fashion and luxury market

Read more

#THE 51%

Decision makers in Deauville: The 10th annual Women’s Forum

Read more

FOCUS

Tackling the taboo of infertility in Cameroon

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Beyond Kobani: Jihadists resist strikes in Syria and gain ground in Iraq

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalian president

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria: Reports of ceasefire between government and Boko Haram

Read more

Europe

Merkel joins calls to spur growth by boosting EIB

Video by Jessica SALTZ

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-28

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday joined calls to boost the European Investment Bank's lending power to help spur economic growth, a seeming reversal of her prior emphasis on controversial austerity measures.

REUTERS - German Chancellor Angela Merkel added her voice on Saturday to calls to bolster the European Investment Bank (EIB) and to use EU infrastructure funds more flexibly to help spur economic growth in Europe.

Her comments are part of a new German emphasis on growth-boosting measures to complement painful tax hikes and spending cuts that have triggered a political and popular backlash against austerity across the euro zone.

The change of rhetoric is also a response to the likelihood that Socialist Francois Hollande will win a French presidential runoff on May 6. Hollande has criticised Merkel's emphasis on budget cuts and structural reforms.

"I can imagine that we further strengthen the capabilities of the European Investment Bank (EIB)," Merkel told the Leipziger Volkszeitung, according to a brief preview of her interview that gave no further details.

Last week, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn proposed boosting the capital of the EIB, the EU's investment arm, by 10 billion euros, telling Reuters this would raise the bank's lending by 60 billion and result in a total investment impact of 180 billion euros.

Hollande has also called for a more robust financing role for the EIB and the more efficient use of EU structural funds.

EU finance ministers are due to discuss the EIB issue at their next meeting in mid-May.

Merkel backed a more flexible use of European Union 'structural funds' earmarked for infrastructure, training and other areas, saying they could give a boost to small and medium-sized firms.

However, she said there could be no question of renegotiating a 'fiscal compact' on budget discipline agreed by 25 of the EU's 27 member states last December to include a growth component.

Hollande has rowed back from earlier calls to re-open the 'compact' or to seek changes to the mandate of the European Central Bank (ECB), another taboo for Berlin.

Merkel has publicly backed incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential race but said in her newspaper interview she could work well with whoever won the election.
 

Date created : 2012-04-28

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    European leaders ganging up on Hollande, report says

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS

    Merkel throws her weight behind Sarkozy

    Read more

  • EUROZONE

    Eurozone unemployment rate hits record high of 10.4%

    Read more

COMMENT(S)