At IMF, Germany stresses reforms over stimulus

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday brushed off pressure to ease eurozone austerity programs and pressed the case for deficit cutting in the troubled euro economy.

Speaking to journalists at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank spring meetings, Schaeuble stuck firmly to Germany's line amid calls for more efforts to boost demand in the recession-bound eurozone.

"The deficit reduction in the eurozone must continue," he said.

"Europe can't function without solving the structural problems."

Schaeuble cautioned patience over the single-currency area's problems, saying Europeans are "on their way" to solving the key challenges.

"It takes time until they will have growth again."

Schaueble referred to European Commission projections that Europe will reach a turnaround in 2014 "if everybody sticks to the rules."

He noted that European financial markets had stabilized, and are "less nervous, less concerned" about the euro than they were one or two years ago.

Also speaking to reporters in Washington, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann echoed the need to emphasize structural reforms in the eurozone, and said that the emerging banking union "sends a signal that there is a willingness to overhaul the institutional framework of the currency union."