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Berlin cautions EU against over-reliance on Germany

Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, pictured in July 2012, warned Europe to not rely heavily on Germany to fix the eurozone crisis.

Europe should not rely too heavily on Germany to fix the eurozone crisis, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warned Saturday in an interview with the weekly news magazine Focus.

"Europe can suffer from too much solidarity, that means if we are too demanding of ourselves and don't ask for sufficient reforms from others," Westerwelle said.

His warning comes after the prickly reaction of German officials to tart comments last week by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker in two newspaper interviews criticising Berlin's management of the crisis as the eurozone's biggest member.

Westerwelle later sought to calm tensions within Germany and in the wider euro area which are at boiling point over a lack of consensus on viable solutions to the debt turmoil, as it takes its toll on stricken countries including Greece and Spain.

In a statement to European partners, the minister said that coping with the debt crisis was a "shared task" and that "everyone must pull together to find a solution."

Germany vowed in recent days it would do "everything to protect the eurozone" and said it would continue to play the role of the "eurozone's anchor of stability", even after Moodys ratings agency downgraded the nation's economic outlook from stable to negative on July 23.

Westerwelle also told Focus he wanted Europe to work towards becoming more competititive by 2020.