November 22, 2013 / 12:55 PM / 6 years ago

ECB's loose policy risks slowing government reforms: Schaeuble

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivers his speech at the European Banking Congress at the old opera house in Frankfurt, November 22, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday that the European Central Bank’s loose monetary policy risked giving governments an incentive to slow their reforms.

“There is the danger that this monetary policy, in addition to all good arguments, is understood in some European countries as a false incentive, not to deploy necessary reforms,” Schaeuble said in a speech at the European Banking Congress in Frankfurt.

“As the ECB itself says, monetary policy cannot create sustainable growth, it can buy time for reforms, but it cannot solve the fundamental problems.”

Schaeuble also pointed to signs that the euro zone was making progress in leaving the crisis behind with Ireland and Spain set to end their bailout programs.

“Portugal is on the mend and there is also significant progress in Greece,” Schaeuble said.

Writing by Eva Taylor and Sakari Suoninen

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