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German finance minister: 'I don't see' any further eurozone bailouts

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1943 GMT (0343 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • German finance minister: 'I don't see' any further eurozone bailouts
  • Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus remain dependent on EU/IMF bailout funds
  • Comments come ahead of September 22 elections for Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • The 17-nation eurozone recently emerged from its longest ever recession

(CNN) -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the eurozone's problems are not solved, but "we are in a much better shape than we used to be some years ago." Asked whether he foresaw any further bailouts coming, he replied: "No, no I don't see."

In a rare interview, conducted in English, he said: "If Chancellor Merkel (is) reelected I am confident that we will continue to work for a stronger Europe -- that's our general position. We don't want a German Europe but we want a strong Europe and that means every member state including Germany has to increase its competitiveness," Schaeuble said.

"A stronger Europe means that everyone has to do its duty and not to ask for more money by others -- that's the wrong way to get a strong Europe, that's the wrong incentive."

German FM: Greece needs until 2022
German FM: Eurozone in a better place

His comments come ahead of the September 22 election, as Merkel faces a German electorate weary of Europe's largest economy helping to bail out troubled eurozone nations, whose debt woes have threatened the stability of the currency.

Greek unemployment hits record 27.6%

Greece, along with three other eurozone countries -- Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus -- remain dependent on rescue loans from the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The 17-nation eurozone has emerged from its longest ever recession, growing 0.3% in the second quarter after 18 months of contraction. Unemployment rates remain high, but worries that the debt crisis could spread to larger economies such as Spain and Italy -- which both saw borrowing costs climb dangerously high last year -- have abated.

"You can see if you look at the rates for sovereign debts they are stable. Markets have confidence in the stability of the eurozone as a whole. And economies are recovering in the whole of the eurozone and the average deficit has been halved in all member states of the eurozone in the last three years."

Schaeuble acknowledged that Greece will need further assistance, but said there will be no further "hair cuts" -- such as 100 billion euros in losses Greek debt holders were forced to incur last year -- for Greece or any other eurozone nation.

Schaeuble: Enthusiastic and on campaign trail

CNN's Nina dos Santos and Irene Chapple contributed this this report

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