The German Government has rebuffed the idea to introduce wealth taxes in Europe to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in an interview with Bild said that the German Government is ‘categorically opposed’ to the idea of wealth taxes.

The comment follows a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendation that the advanced economies must raise taxes on the rich in a move to reduce budget deficits and to manage growing inequalities.

Schäuble insisted that recent remarks by the IMF had simply been misunderstood.

"IMF had in no way intended to advocate that wealth taxes be introduced in Europe," he added.

Schäuble stressed that to ensure that Europe does not slip back into crisis, member states must consistently pursue their reform policies and return their public finances to order. Only a competitive Europe is "strong and immune" to future crises.