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Germany hits out at US over debt crisis

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On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a clear swipe at the US, saying that she could not accept that those urging faster action on the debt crisis were also blocking a proposed tax on financial market transactions. - File photo

BERLIN: Germany’s foreign minister on Sunday lashed out at the United States over criticism the eurozone was not doing enough to solve its economic woes, noting the US debt had also contributed to the current crisis.

Guido Westerwelle told the Bild am Sonntag weekly: “Let us not forget that the cause of the current crisis is too much debt in Europe, but also too much debt worldwide.

“Therefore, I cannot understand some of the critical comments from our American friends regarding our policy of reducing debt.”

The minister’s remarks were the latest in a series of barbs between Berlin and Washington over Europe’s perceived dithering over the crisis.

Last month, US President Barack Obama urged Europe to act faster to find a solution, saying the debt and banking crisis was “scaring the world”, prompting a furious and un-diplomatic response from Germany’s finance minister.

“It’s always much easier to give advice to others than to decide for yourself. I am well prepared to give advice to the US government,” said Wolfgang Schaeuble. “Even if Obama is thinking the opposite, I don’t think the problems of Europe are the reason for the problems of the US,” he said.

And on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a clear swipe at the US, saying that she could not accept that those urging faster action on the debt crisis were also blocking a proposed tax on financial market transactions.—AFP

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