German finance minister: Misinterpreting ECB move would be 'serious mistake'

Germany’s Finance Minister is insisting that the countries must not use the European Central Bank’s plan to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds as an excuse to let up on economic reforms and deficit-cutting.

The ECB announced its plan on Thursday.

The bond purchases, which would come with conditions, would help lower borrowing costs for countries struggling to manage debts.

The head of Germany’s central bank objected but senior government officials have signalled their acceptance.

Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the eurozone’s crisis of confidence can only be overcome by pressing ahead with reforms.

He added: “It would be a serious mistake if the ECB decision were misinterpreted in the sense that we could now let up on our efforts.”

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