Schaeuble Says He'd Prefer Higher Euro-Area Rates

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he’d prefer higher interest rates in the euro area, though he recognizes that the European Central Bank has to set monetary policy to fit 19 national economies.

In a speech to a business audience on Wednesday, Schaeuble also said Europe is recognizing that migration is a threat to stability and needs to find joint solutions. This year’s German influx of asylum seekers, estimated by government officials at about 1 million, may help boost the region’s biggest economy in the medium term, he said in Hanover, Germany.

“I would prefer higher interest rates than we have today,” Schaeuble said, while acknowledging that the ECB “has a rather difficult problem” in setting rates “for economies whose performance is quite diverse.”

All 28 EU countries need to pull together in the refugee crisis, he said.

“We’ve been reading for years that migration flows pose one of the major risks to the stability in the world in the 21st century and possibly also a major threat to peace,” Schaeuble said.

“Now that we’re experiencing that in a dreadful way, we need to realize that European unification isn’t the cause of our problems but rather a possible solution.”

(Corrects headline.)
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