World Economy

Germany’s Shulz Says Eurozone Needs Joint Budget

Germany’s Shulz Says Eurozone Needs Joint BudgetGermany’s Shulz Says Eurozone Needs Joint Budget

The eurozone needs a joint budget to increase investment and Germany should be prepared to do more in Europe, possibly by increasing its financial contribution to the bloc, SPD leader Martin Schulz said in a strategy paper presented on Sunday.

“Germany is a great country. But Germany can do more,” Schulz, whose SPD is the junior party in Germany’s coalition government, said in the introduction of his ten-point-plan for a modern Germany and a better Europe, Reuters reported.

Schulz, a former European Parliament president, said EU countries outside the single currency bloc should not be able to veto further eurozone integration and that those ignoring solidarity on important issues must face financial sanctions.

Schulz is hoping to beat Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Sept. 24 election but the SPD has lost momentum in the polls after gaining at first following his nomination in January.

Schulz presented on Sunday a 10-point plan he said would push Germany into a modern era of increased investments and renewed eurozone integration.

“If we do not invest heavily in research and development, in electric vehicles and energy-saving production processes, we’ll fall behind,” Schulz said, adding that Europe’s largest economy was being challenged by countries where the state owned or subsidized firms.

Such an investment push would cost “a lot of money”, Schulz said but it would be better to spend the country’s budget surplus that way than wasting it by promising voters tax cuts—a clear dig at Merkel’s conservatives.

Speaking in Berlin, Schulz also spoke out in favor of financial penalties for EU member countries that refuse to take in refugees coming to the continent from the Middle East and parts of Africa.

“In addition to the debt ceiling, we need a minimum speed for investments that preserve the fabric of our country,” he said, according to Handelsblatt.


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