BERLIN (Reuters) - Throwing more money at the eurozone debt crisis will not solve the problem because the troubles have to be resolved at the cause, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Sunday.
Schaeuble also said in an interview with German TV network ZDF that Greece has not done enough to fulfill promises it made in exchange for bailout funds. Schaeuble also criticized the recent interventions by U.S. President Barack Obama.
“We have to fight the causes,” Schaeuble said. “Anyone who believes that money alone or bailouts or any other solutions, or monetary policy at the ECB — that will never resolve the problem. The causes have to be resolved.”
Schaeuble added: “It’s not going to help to take money to it. The decisive thing is to credibly fight the causes of the crisis. It’s succeeding very well in Ireland and Portugal. It’s not succeeding very well in Greece. But it must succeed in Greece. There’s no other way to do this.”
Schaeuble said Greece has clearly not done enough.
“Greece hasn’t tried enough so far, that has to be said quite clearly,” Schaeuble said. “That has to be said with respect for the domestic political difficulties. But no one on earth who has followed this issue would think that Greece has fulfilled what it has promised.
“Italy and Spain are different on this question,” he added. “They’re making great reform efforts.”
Schaeuble dismissed advice from U.S. President Barack Obama, who has called on Europe to do more to fight the crisis.
“Mr. Obama should focus on reducing the American deficit,” Schaeuble said. “It’s higher than in the euro zone. You have to understand that people are always ready to give others advice quickly. Our argument is ‘we’re ready’ (to do more). We want more Europe.”
Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum