Rome

German minister says no interference with Italy's vote

But Schaeuble says Italy 'made progress' under Monti

German minister says no interference with Italy's vote

Rome, February 21 - Germany will not try to interfere with the Italian election campaign, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a speech Thursday in Berlin. However, Schaeuble did point out that under outgoing Premier Mario Monti, "Italy made progress," Bloomberg reported. Speaking about the economic crisis plaguing Europe, Schaeuble stressed that "we are not yet out of the woods" and that countries must work collectively "to ensure the stability of the euro". That might be seen as a shot at the cooperative abilities of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, who has gone on the offensive against Germany in the days leading up to the national election Sunday and Monday. He has accused Germany of treading on other countries' rights and interfering in the Italian vote. Berlusconi said Monti had even sought and won the blessing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to form a post-election pact with the centre left. Earlier Thursday, European Parliament Speaker Martin Schulz, who is German, warned the Italian people against voting for Berlusconi. In a newspaper interview with German tabloid Bild, Schulz said that Berlusconi had "already sent Italy to the bottom of the abyss once with the actions of an irresponsible government".

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