Austerity policies fall along with Merkel allies, as new finance minister takes softer line with Germany’s neighbours

“Germany should stop scolding its eurozone neighbours over economic policy, the man poised to become the country’s next finance minister said on Saturday” writes Justin Huggler for Olaf Scholz, of the Social Democratic party (SPD), said in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel that “mistakes were surely made in the past,” in an apparent reference to the strict austerity policies of his predecessor, Wolfgang Schäuble. “We don’t want to dictate to other European countries how they should develop,” he said, in a sign that the new coalition forming under Chancellor Angela Merkel will be less strict on its neighbours over fiscal discipline.But he said he wanted to preserve Mr Schäuble’s balanced budget policy, allaying conservative concerns that the next government might spend beyond its means.

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