Germany's finance minister has called for the creation of a European equivalent to the International Monetary Fund to help euro-zone countries like Greece deal with a crippling debt crisis.
A European monetary fund should not compete with it's Washington counterpart
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told weekly Welt am Sonntag newspaper the euro-zone needs a new institution to safeguard the stability of the monetary union.
"We are not planning an institution in competition with the International Monetary Fund but for the internal structure of the eurozone we need an institution that commands the experience of the IMF and similar executive powers," Schaeuble said in an interview published on Sunday, March 7. "I will make proposals on this soon."
The minister's comments came in direct response to the aftermath of the Greek debt crisis, echoing similar statements this week from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Brussels.
Schaeuble, however, ruled out any direct help by the IMF for Greece beyond technical assistance.
"The euro-zone aims at resolving its troubles on its own," he was quoted in the paper's Sunday edition.
Schaeuble also called for more coordination among the 16 nations sharing the euro regarding financial and economic policy decisions.
"We cannot allow our joint currency to become a ball for international speculators to play with," he said.
Schaeuble's proposal for a European monetary fund has received widespread support in Germany's governing coalition, including a nod by Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle.
The secretary general of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the euro-zone needed to consider how "to better control countries like Greece in the future and impose effective sanctions."
European Socialists have also backed ideas for a fund under the auspices of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in a system that would protect the euro-zone from speculative attacks.
Editor: Toma Tasovac