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Germany wants 'European economic government': minister

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(BERLIN) - Europe needs closer coordination as a result of the fiscal crisis in Greece, Germany's finance minister said Tuesday, calling for an "economic government" and a "federal Europe."

"We need better instruments to implement the Stability Pact," Wolfgang Schaeuble told the Die Zeit weekly, referring to the European Union's fiscal rules.

"And we need more coordination in the form of an economic government -- even if we do not really like the term. All this will lead to more Europe, not less," he added, according to the pre-released interview.

The phrase "economic government" has been a sore point in recent European politics with some countries -- notably Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands -- seeing the term as too federalist.

After a summit of European leaders in Brussels earlier this month, a deft bit of linguistic diplomacy transformed the phrase in the English version of a eurozone agreement over Greece to read "economic governance."

But Schaeuble said he was "convinced that politicians will manage to get a federal Europe," although he acknowledged that "Europe will not become a federal state like the Federal Republic of Germany."

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