IMF, ECB square off in Europe austerity debate

(Reuters) – A heated debate about Europe’s austerity drive flared back into life on Thursday with leading IMF and European Central Bank officials sharply at odds and Angela Merkel declaring that Germany required higher interest rates.

With the threat of the currency bloc’s break-up receding, some euro zone officials are saying now is the time to throttle back on debt-cutting drives because calmer financial markets will not react badly.

The International Monetary Fund is also pushing that prescription – for both the euro zone and Britain – but Germany and the ECB are opposed….more

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