WASHINGTON (MNI) – The cooperation between Germany and France does
not rest on the outcome of the elections to take place soon in France,
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Saturday.
Speaking to the press on the margins of meetings at the IMF and
World Bank, Schaeuble said, “The Franco-German cooperation is
independent of the outcome of the election for both countries … and
nothing about this will change.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing a stiff challenge from
the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, who is leading in polls and
who has expressed his desire to renegotiate the Fiscal Compact agreed on
by European countries.
Asked whether he would be willing to take over the chair of the
Eurogroup of Eurozone finance ministers when current head Jean-Claude
Juncker steps down, Schaeuble spoke of a misperception outside of Europe
according to which Germany effectively stands for the rest of Europe.
In any case, he said, such decisions were not discussed here.
As to what was discussed at the meetings, in particular the
increase in IMF resources, Schaeuble praised the high solidarity of the
international community, which he said makes it “capable of acting and
reacting in crisis situations.”
European countries presented a united front here, he said, which
inspired the trust of their international partners. “We convinced them,”
he said. This “was one of the conditions for having brought about
“We are not out of the woods yet, but we have made good progress,”
In other comments, Schaeuble reported that European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi had said during the meetings that “financial
markets tend to underestimate risks for a long time … and then they
tend to overestimate risks.”
–Frankfurt Bureau: +49-69-720142; Email: email@example.com