It has been revealed that Germany ‘s treasury has profited from the eurozone crisis.
Finance Ministry calculations showed almost 41 billion euros in reduced interest payments on its borrowings between 2010 and 2014.
The profit comes because Germany is seen as a safe haven by investors who have been buying government bonds in huge numbers thus cutting the amount of interest Berlin has to offer on those bonds.
There are political overtones to the news. It came out as the result of a parliamentary inquiry from a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Social Democrat party five weeks before elections there.
According to the Finance Ministry the crisis has so far cost Germany just 599 million euros.
Shortly after the figures were released the German Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble appeared to negate any election help they might have provided for Merkel.
At a campaign event Schaeuble said for the first time that Greece will need another bailout.
Analysts have long predicted more aid will be required, but Merkel has tried to keep Greece out of her campaign to avoid angering German voters who fear they will foot the bill.
However at a campaign event in northern Germany, her outspoken
minister departed from that line, breaking what had been seen as a taboo in the run up to the election. “There will have to be another programme in Greece,” Schaeuble said.
Just hours before he spoke, Merkel was quoted in a regional newspaper as saying there was no point in discussing additional aid to Greece before the end of next year, when its second rescue package will expire.
As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany takes the biggest share of the bailouts, which are unpopular with taxpayers.