Wolfgang Schäuble

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schaeuble deutschland dinner
The German finance minister at Handelsblatt's recent Deutschland Dinner.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germans have become anxious about Mr. Schäuble’s handling of the economy, with many finding it difficult to understand how austerity is benefiting the country.

  • Facts


    • Low interest rates have helped to consolidate the federal budget, but the government expects them to be a temporary phenomenon, Mr. Schaüble says.
    • Thanks to policies like these, Germany’s debt level currently is 70 percent of GDP and should decline to 60 percent in coming years, he added.
    • European and IMF efforts to help Greece achieve financial stability are slowly having an effect, according to the finance minister.
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Last month Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble spoke with Handelsblatt editor in chief Gabor Steingart at the publication’s Deutschland Dinner in Berlin. The audience also submitted questions, but not all were answered by the end of the evening. Mr. Schäuble promised his ministry would respond – and here are his answers.


When will investments be made in German infrastructure, hospitals, schools and public services? The government’s coffers are brimming.

In recent years, we have significantly expanded investments in the federal budget, including a €10 billion package for added spending in transportation infrastructure, broadband expansion, urban development and energy transition from 2016 to 2018. Financially weak municipalities are getting €3.5 billion for new investments through a special fund.

We don’t primarily have a financial problem, but instead with planning and authorization. Local agencies access additional financial resources quite slowly, because their capacities for planning new investments are insufficient. It is here, above all, that improvements must be made.

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