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Germany 'doesn't have the strength' for more stimulus

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Germany does not have the economic strength to launch another stimulus package now without running the risk of losing market confidence, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

In 2009, Germany boosted its crisis-hit economy, Europe's largest, with large-scale spending, but now, said the chancellor, "we do not have the strength for a second economic package without losing international confidence."

In the debate about how to help eurozone countries hit by high deficits, debt and recession, Merkel has long stressed the need for structural reforms and cost-cutting to rebalance public finances.

Critics especially in southern Europe and France have charged that the fiscal discipline approach stifles growth and adds to the economic pain, calling instead for greater stimulus measures that would revitalise demand.

Last week, the new US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew during a Berlin visit also urged economies to stimulate consumer demand.

Speaking on Monday to an audience of bankers, Merkel also took care to highlight progress in regulating the financial system, but warned that much work remained to be done.

"We have promised the public that every financial center, every actor, every financial product, is subject to regulation, and we are still far from that," she said, while calling for the G20 to pursue efforts in this direction.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/germany-doesnt-have-the-strength-more-stimulus-0