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Bucharest
October 5, 2022
BUSINESS

PM Wen via Chancellor Merkel: We need to see more action

Expressing alarm at Europe’s debt problems, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on Greece, Spain and Italy to embrace budget cuts and get their finances in order after meeting Thursday with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, therepublic.com reports. “The European debt crisis has continued to worsen, giving rise to serious concerns in the international community. Frankly speaking, I am also worried,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters after the meeting. He cited uncertainty over whether Greece leaves the eurozone and whether Italy and Spain take “comprehensive rescue measures,” a reference to budget cuts and tax increases to balance their budgets. Also, Wen said Beijing was willing to buy European bonds so long as it could evaluate the risks and to help the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank — the so-called troika — support indebted eurozone countries “in overcoming hardships.” Merkel told reporters that while the crisis is not over, countries such as Italy and Greece were “on an intensive road of reforms. I am convinced that this will bear fruit.”.  Ahead of Merkel’s visit, German officials told reporters Berlin wanted to reassure Beijing that European debt is a “safe and good investment.” In this visit context, Airbus Industrie committed to invest USD 1.6 bln in the second phase of an aircraft final assembly plant opened in 2008 in Tianjin, Wen’s hometown. A Chinese state company signed an agreement to purchase 50 Airbus jetliners valued at USD 3.5 bln. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest automaker, signed a deal to invest USD 219 M in an “environmentally friendly production facility” and vocational training initiative, also in Tianjin.

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