Donohoe meets new German finance minister in Berlin

After today’s talks the Minister for Finance will travel to Riga and Vilnius for further meetings

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will this morning meet his new German counterpart Christian Lindner in Berlin.

As president of the Eurogroup, Mr Donohoe will also use his visit to meet the new economics minister Robert Habeck as well as opposition politicians.

He then travels on to Riga and Vilnius for further bilateral meetings with his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts.

“I look forward to hearing from Minister Lindner about the German government’s ambitious programme and also his views on the European economy,” Mr Donohoe said before heading to Berlin. “These discussions with Eurogroup colleagues are vital in allowing for strong co-ordination of economic and fiscal policies.”


Ahead of his visit, Mr Donohoe said the benefits of close euro co-ordination were clear in the area’s stronger than expected economic recovery, with forecasts of 5 per cent growth this year.


After four years working with Olaf Scholz, now German chancellor, the meeting offers Mr Donohoe a chance to get to know Mr Lindner. The liberal Free Democratic Party (FPD) leader is likely to be a hawkish German finance minister, wary of French efforts to expand EU fiscal competences or regularise the EU’s one-off pandemic funding programme.

Mr Donohoe will be listening for signals on whether Berlin is ready to complete the banking union. Efforts to complete this eurocrisis-era project have stalled, in part over Berlin’s refusal to join a euro zone bank deposit insurance scheme.

Mr Lindner’s predecessors have dodged a decision on this point, given it is hugely unpopular in Germany. Combined with growing German frustration at the European Central Bank over rising inflation, movement on the banking union is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Courtesy calls

On Tuesday, Mr Donohoe will be in Riga to meet Latvian finance minister Janis Reirs and to participate in an online discussion about the year ahead for the euro area with the Bank of Latvia president, Martins Kazaks

Mr Donohoe travels to Lithuania on Wednesday to meet with finance minister Gintare Skaiste. During the visit he will also pay courtesy calls on the president of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, and prime minister Ingrida Šimonyte.

Derek Scally

Derek Scally

Derek Scally is an Irish Times journalist based in Berlin