October 9, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 2 months ago

Cash-rich euro zone countries should invest more - ministers

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The euro zone economy needs more spending from countries that have money to invest, euro zone finance ministers said on Wednesday ahead of a meeting at which they will discuss the slowing growth in the euro zone economy.

The chairman of the 19 ministers representing euro zone countries, Mario Centeno, said that fiscal policy in the single currency area should respond to the economic situation.

“The fiscal stance must play together with the economic conditions of the euro zone,” Centeno told reports on entering the meeting Luxembourg said.

“We need to look carefully for those who have fiscal space to act and those who don’t, (so that they) continue to reduce their debt,” he said.

Italy’s finance minister Roberto Gualtieri, which has the second highest debt in Europe after Greece in relation to GDP, also called for more effort from cash-rich countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

“Fiscal policy should be more proactive, in particular member states with more fiscal space should make use of this fiscal space to have overall an aggregate fiscal stance of the euro area that is appropriate, taking into account the macroeconomic situation,” he said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Francesco Guarascio)

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