US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged countries with the “capacity” to help spur growth, after talks with his German counterpart here on Tuesday.
Lew told a joint press conference with Wolfgang Schaeuble that the driver of economic growth would be consumer demand, adding “policies that will help drive consumer demand in countries that have capacity” would be “helpful”.
The Treasury chief is on a whistle-stop tour to meet eurozone leaders, his first trip to Europe since taking over the post from Tim Geithner in February.
He told reporters in Europe’s top economy that Schaeuble and his team were “working very hard to address Europe’s challenges and make Europe more resilient”.
EU leaders have struggled to chart a consistent path marrying German-led demands for austerity with calls to invest for growth, a subject set to feature when G20 leaders gather in Russia later this year.
For his part, Schaeuble told reporters that “nobody in Europe” sees a contradiction “between consolidation and growth”.
Lew’s meeting with Schaeuble came a day after talks in Brussels and Frankfurt and ahead of a meeting in Paris later on Tuesday with French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici.
He is also set to meet Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli.
During his talks in Brussels with top EU officials, including EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, Lew stressed the US had an “immense stake” in Europe’s recovery and reform efforts.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]