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Angela Merkel rejects ECB findings on German wealth

By Katerina Nikolas     Apr 20, 2013 in World
Berlin - "Be careful: Statistics are misleading:" The response of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Central Bank (ECB) survey which placed Germany at the bottom of the list of the euro zone's wealthiest households.
The ECB survey was conducted by the Household Finance and Consumption Network based on data obtained in 2010 and 2011. The findings revealed that German households are less wealthy than their southern European neighbours.
Der Spiegel cited figures showing German median net household wealth as €51,400 compared to €266,900 for Cyprus, €173,500 for Italy, and €182,700 for Spain. However, the Irish Times reported Merkel said the ECB statistics are "distorted" and German households are wealthier than the figures suggest.
Merkel said "in Germany there is a strong pension system and high pension entitlements are not included in the figures, neither is property Germans own abroad.” Southern Europeans have a much higher percentage of home ownership than Germans but Germans may well own property in those same southern countries.
Merkel's words are significant as German economists reacted to the ECB survey by suggesting future bailouts should be funded by additional property taxes in the Mediterranean countries. A higher percentage of home-ownership represents a base of immovable assets. Der Spiegel suggested it would be sensible for governments in crisis racked countries to seize the assets of citizens to reduce debt.
More about ECB report, Angela merkel, German wealth, German overseas property
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