Germany Rebuffs Obama's Advice on Euro Crisis: Deal With Your Own Debt

June 25, 2012 - 7:46 AM

Luxembourg Europe Financial Crisis

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks with the media prior to a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday, June 21, 2012. As the cracks in the euro currency seem to grow even wider, finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the currency brainstorm Thursday on how to stabilize it. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's finance minister is rejecting U.S. President Barack Obama's calls on Europe to move faster in fighting its debt crisis, telling him to get the American deficit under control instead.

Wolfgang Schaeuble told public broadcaster ZDF in an interview late Sunday that "people are always very quick at giving others advice."

He says: "Mr. Obama should first of all take care of reducing the American deficit, which is higher than in the eurozone."

Obama and other leaders fear an escalating crisis in Europe could drag down the world economy.

The 17-nation eurozone is struggling to overhaul its institutions and streamline its decision making to restore investors' confidence. The bloc's debt relative to its economic output stands at about 80 percent, while it is about 100 percent in the U.S.