March 30, 2009

Merkel to hold firm on spending at G20

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said differences in economic strategies need not isolate the United States from European allies.

Merkel said she was ready to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama at the Group of 20 summit Thursday in London but didn't intend to shift her stance on stimulus spending.

The United States has called for other nations to increase stimulus spending. In Europe, that call has largely been rebuffed.

International policy is, for all the friendship and commonality, always also about representing the interests of one's own country, she told The New York Times.

In an interview at the German Chancellery, Merkel said to the newspaper, Hopefully, he (Obama) leaves Europe in the awareness that he has friends and partners here, that we depend on each other.

Merkel also she hoped the United States would return to a more conservative approach and rein in spending after the fiscal stimulus spending had run its course.

On an international level, we must all recognize that after the crisis we need to return again to solid financial policies, she said. Otherwise, we run the risk of already preparing the next crisis.