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Merkel, Abe differ on how to fix world economy

Staff writer |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe disagreed on how best to kick-start the global economy.

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While Abe made a pitch for large-scale stimulus spending, Merkel suggested Germany was already doing enough, pointing to the extra economic activity brought by the arrival of one million refugees and migrants last year.

Abe has been rallying G-7 member nations to make a pitch for jointly providing a boost to the global economy.

"We spoke about the global economic situation and that we cannot just wait for normal economic cycles but have to proactively tackle the risks to rejuvinate the world economy," he said.

"We need a speeding up of structural reforms and expansive fiscal policies," he told a news conference, after their meeting at Germany's state guest house, a Baroque castle north of Berlin.

Merkel on the other hand suggested Germany, Europe's top economy, was already doing enough.

"With the many refugees we took in last year, we saw a boost to domestic demand which, in my view, was a good contribution to the development of the world economy," she said.

She said Berlin supported a three-way strategy of structural reforms, the monetary policy of independent central banks, and fiscal policy, including ongoing investment in digital infrastructure

"We are seeking to combine solid budgetary policies with sustainable growth policies and more investment. I think with that we are making our contribution for the good development of the world economy, and we will be discussing the details in depth in Japan."

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