German foreign minister calls for calm in euro rhetoric
(BERLIN) - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warned Tuesday against European partners turning against each other in the eurozone debt crisis, calling on all sides to work together.
Westerwelle said in a written statement in response to "the verbal escalation in the current European debate" that combative rhetoric would only serve to drive wedges through the 17-nation euro area.
"No one can have an interest in the fronts hardening," he said.
"Stabilising our currency and coping with the debt crisis are a shared task and everyone must pull together to find a solution. Under no circumstances must the axe of the hasty word be deployed to chop down what was built up over the course of decades in Europe."
Tensions within the eurozone over viable solutions to the crisis have threatened to boil over as the debt turmoil takes its toll on stricken countries including Greece and Spain.
German officials had a prickly reaction to tart comments by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker in two recent newspaper interviews in which he criticised Berlin's management of the crisis as the eurozone's biggest member.
Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, called Juncker's criticism "superfluous" and said that it "certainly won't calm the markets".
Another CSU official, Alexander Dobrindt, said that after the "impudence" of "twisting the facts and intimating that Germany is part of the problem", he questioned whether Juncker could remain head of the eurozone finance ministers.
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