BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday her government will wait to see whether the new U.S. administration passes another economic stimulus package before considering further measures for Germany.
"We believe that, if it is enough for America to create a big program when the new president takes office, then it will also be right for Germany to create a new package," Merkel said in a keynote speech before the Center for European Economic Research in the southwestern German city of Mannheim.
The chancellor's comments come days after she met with government ministers, business executives and labor leaders for talks on how Europe's largest economy can best avoid economic catastrophe in 2009.
She insisted before the meeting began that any further measures would not come before a Jan. 5 meeting of the two parties that make up her coalition government.
Merkel's critics at home and abroad say her response to the economic crisis has been far too cautious.
She has called for government-funded projects to help build up the nation's infrastructure, particularly renovating aging schools and expanding broadband Internet access to every corner of the country.
Although she has warned that 2009 will hold little good news for the economy, she insisted Tuesday that the impact of the global downturn in Germany should not be as severe as in the United States, where the collapse of the subprime mortgage market sparked an economic downturn that has spread across the globe.
"Germany is better prepared for the crisis than it was several years ago," Merkel said.