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News

World economic bodies call for growth push

The heads of five key economic institutions on a visit to Berlin have issued a joint call with Chancellor Angela Merkel for further reform within the eurozone. They warned that risks remain "great" for the world economy.

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde urged central banks and governments on Tuesday to make a concerted effort to rejuvenate economic growth.

"Growth is the key factor in reaching the goals," Lagarde said, adding that governments must also get their budgets into order.

In their joint statement, the institutional heads said recent efforts by several eurozone nations to enhance competitiveness and consolidate budgets had boosted investor confidence.

Further efforts were needed to create jobs for Europe's millions of unemployed young people and to make necessary structural reform to social welfare systems, they said.

Call not to ignore social issues

The five had issued a similar call after a meeting in Paris on Monday with French President Francois Hollande.

In Berlin they said: "Decisive action has to be taken to ensure fiscal consolidation at an appropriate pace coupled with structural reforms."

Angel Gurria, who heads the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), warned that social issues must not be overlooked.

International Labor Organization head Guy Ryder called for a "social dialogue" based on Germany's autonomous system of negotiations between trade unions and employers as a means to reduce global unemployment.

Also present at Merkel's chancellery were World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim and Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organization.

Merkel urged to boost consumption

Merkel told reporters that the five had asked her to do "everything possible" to stoke domestic consumption and to enable imports from other nations."

She said Germany, which is a major world exporter, was expected to reform its services sector and to help "integrate immigrants, especially in education."

ipj/dr (AFP, dpa, Reuters)