BERLIN Oct 7 German Economy Minister Sigmar
Gabriel made the case on Friday for more public investments in
schools, roads and digital infrastructure, warning Chancellor
Angela Merkel's conservatives against promising tax cuts ahead
of next year's election.
"The level of investment is always a yardstick for how
firmly a country believes in its future and how it is willing to
tackle this," Gabriel said in a news conference, presenting the
government's updated growth forecast.
"It's clear that we need significantly more investment in
education and schools," said Gabriel, head of Germany's Social
Democrats, junior coalition partner in Merkel's government.
He warned against promising voters "gigantic tax cuts" and
increased welfare handouts because Germany's currently solid
public finances were mainly due to the low interest rates.
"Interest rates can rise again. The positive interest rate
effect (for the German budget) currently is 20 billion euros per
year," he added.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Andrea Shalal)