Category: US Politics / April 9, 2013 5:45 PM EDT
European countries should use all means at their disposal to strike the right balance between boosting growth and improving their public finances, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday (April 9).
Lew made the comments in Paris at the end of his first official visit to Europe throughout which he has underlined the importance of supporting growth and fiscal responsibility.
"I think the meetings that I've had over the past two days have made clear that our view is that there needs to be a balanced approach between growth and fiscal consolidation, that all tools have to be considered, and that the members of the Eurogroup and the institutions in Europe need to focus on both problems as we do in the United States," he told reporters.
His stance found particular support from France, as Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici stressed at the joint news conference which followed their meeting.
"The French government, the French president, refuse to add austerity to recession. We absolutely want to find the right balance between growth and deficit reduction, which is also Jack Lew's approach," Moscovici said.
In contrast, during his visit to Berlin, Germany, earlier in the trip, Lew urged countries with a trade surplus to boost domestic consumption, underlining a divergence of views between Washington and Europe's economic powerhouse Germany on austerity policies.
Germany has the euro zone's biggest trade surplus and has in the past rebuffed pressure to shift policy to bring about a rebalancing of commercial flows in Europe.
(Video Source: REUTERS)