Barroso: Germany ‘must stablilize the Eurozone’

Barroso: Germany 'must stablilize the Eurozone'
Barroso. Photo: DPA
Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, should do more to "guarantee financial stability in the eurozone" European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday.

"The single market as we have it very much allows Germany to play out its competitive advantages" in the technological and industrial areas, Barroso said.

In return, "Germany could do more to enable also the others to bring in their respective assets," he added.

Barroso warned that, "stronger economies paying for weaker economies is not the answer" for the public debt crisis affecting the 17-nation eurozone, with some member states like Greece heavily indebted and others like Germany helping to bail out weaker nations.

"What we do need in contrast is the correction of existing macroeconomic imbalances, notably in the euro area," said Barroso. "This is where Germany by its own legitimate interests can (make) a contribution."

"What we are asking Germany, as we are asking any other member of the euro area, is to do its homework so that we can guarantee financial stability in the eurozone," said Barroso.

"When we talk about need for rebalancing, we are not talking about weakening the competitiveness of the German economy," he added.

Barroso said that Berlin had "acted also in its own national interests (in the eurozone crisis), but that is not a problem as long as this is compatible with the wider European interests.

"This is precisely what Europe is about, to defend our national interests in a collective manner."

Barroso also called on German leaders "to assume the highest level of leadership."

"You can use it for the better," he said.  Barroso, who will quit his Commission post next year, also called the single currency a success story as it had brought Europe monetary stability and low interest rates.

"A vast majority (of Europeans) support the euro after five years of crisis," he said.

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