Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's finance minister

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s finance minister

Schaeuble added it was “possible and necessary” for the next government to lower taxes after Germany’s general election in September.

He said forecasts that inflation could reach 3 percent in Germany this year would exacerbate concerns about current low interest rates.

While admitting he was no fan of the ECB’s monetary policy, he added, “The ECB has a mandate for the eurozone, and it carries it out well.”

Schaeuble said the core issue was that a number of eurozone countries had not been able to boost competitiveness as required. “The problem is the weakness of the other countries, not Germany’s strength,” he said.

The conservative minister said it would take a great effort to convince German citizens that the common currency provided more employment, social and business benefits than risks and negative consequences.

To help Germany make the argument, he said it was essential that Italy and other countries stuck to the agreed rules.

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