Today, Olaf Scholz, the finance minister of Germany, tried a spirited defence of the economy of his country. He insisted that it is “not in crisis” despite the weakening growth of the country.
The finance minister of Angela Merkel rejected the claims that Germany is heading for a recession. He also played down the economic troubles of the Eurozone powerhouse on a rare visit to London.
He stated: “It’s not a crisis and it won’t be in the next few years, it’s just a slowdown in growth.”
However, in an interview with the Financial Times, he did warn that the slowdown could put the strain on the public finances of Germany.
His comments came after the weakest annual growth of the country in five years last year was followed up by a slow start to 2019.
After expressing his concerns over Brexit during a keynote speech that was hosted by Bloomberg, Scholz turned his attention to Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America. He criticised the US president for his penchant for imposing tariffs.
As a response to the reports that the United States could apply tariffs to car imports from Europe, he stated: “I think increasing tariffs is not a good idea.”
He added: “I hope things like this could be avoided.”
He continued: “The best thing we can do for growth and wealth is rules-based free trade. I hope that we will have a better situation so that we can get again more global trade agreements.”
Scholz also rejected the reports that the government of Germany was ready to broker a merger between Deutsche Bank and rival Commerzbank as “speculation.”
The finance minister of Merkel said that he was “working very hard” with the banking sector of Germany as a whole, regarding its future.
Reports that were released earlier this month suggested that the crisis-hit German lender could be ready for a merger with Commerzbank by the middle of the year if its ongoing restructuring was not able to meet targets.