Interview with Jeb Bush: 'I Admire the Fact that Germany Is On the Right Path'
Presumed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush spoke briefly with SPIEGEL about Greece, Germany's finances and the need to supply weapons to Ukraine.
Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is in Europe this week to bolster his foreign policy credentials.
SPIEGEL: Governor Bush, Chancellor Merkel insists on fiscal discipline domestically but also with respect to Greece. She's been criticized for that in Germany and in the United States. Are the critics right?
Bush: No. Fiscal integrity is an essential building block for long term economic growth. The recent experience in the United States of massive stimulus (by way of) monetary policy hasn't resulted in the kind of economic growth that we need. I do admire the fact that Germany is on the (right) path. This fiscal year is going to end with a budget surplus (in Germany), right?
SPIEGEL: That's how it looks like, yes.
Bush: That's pretty amazing. I don't think our country should be lecturing a country that lives within its means. That's something we should learn from. And while we had some success in lowering our deficit, we shouldn't celebrate a deficit of several hundred billion dollars.
SPIEGEL: Could you imagine a European Union without Greece? It might come to a point where Greece drops out because it doesn't fulfill its fiscal discipline obligations.
Bush: In my conversations, it looks like it is still work in progress, even as we speak today. It's a tiny part of the EU, slightly over 1 percent (of economic output). I think there obviously has to be some concern about the systemic risks of this, but given the fact that Greece is such a small part (of the European Union), I think it's manageable.
SPIEGEL: Chancellor Merkel said with respect to the Ukrainian conflict that she couldn't imagine a situation where the delivery of weapons could lead to a solution to the crisis. Do you share her view?
Bush: I think weapons could help. It would send a signal that we're serious in providing support for a sovereign nation, a European country which is a friend of the United States. It would have to be part of a broader strategy to provide financial support und to encourage economic reforms, but to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons makes sense. I respect the chancellor's view, and in the United States there are people who share that view, but there are many who share the view that I have expressed.
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