German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reacted Wednesday to IMF advice to boost investment by saying he "can't bear hearing" the debate over fiscal austerity versus pro-growth policies anymore.
He was speaking a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again encouraged export power Germany to invest more to boost domestic demand, and after Schaeuble promised a balanced budget from next year.
"I can't bear hearing any longer this debate" on whether fiscal discipline and stimulating growth are two contradictory goals, Schaeuble told a banking conference in Berlin.
"The way I see it, the countries that have their budgets in order are also the ones with the best growth figures."
Schaeuble said that the IMF indicated "that we have some leeway" for public spending, adding however that "we have decided on the measures that we think we can afford, and we can't afford more".
The IMF in a report released Tuesday said that "in Germany, an increase in investment, including public investment ... not only is desirable on its own, but also will reduce the large current account surplus".
The IMF advice is in line with that of the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which want Europe's biggest economy to boost demand at home.
The budget of the new 'grand coalition' government of Chancellor Angela Merkel provides for public investment in infrastructure, digital media and education, while aiming to stop new debt.
Schaeuble presented plans to parliament on Tuesday to achieve a consistently balanced budget from 2015, the first time since 1969.
Europe's top economy will run up only a small public deficit of 6.5 billion euros ($8.9 billion) in 2014 -- its smallest in 40 years -- down from 22.1 billion euros in 2013.