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Merkel says no need to change EU budget rules, flexible enough

Published on Jun 18, 2014 7:52 PM
 
Honour guards are reflected on a window as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to meet Tunisia's Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 18, 2014. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, she and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel agree there is no need to change the European Union's Stability and Growth pact as it already offers all the flexibility it needs. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she sees no need to change Europe's budget rules after her economy minister suggested that countries be given more time to get their finances in order.

"We're agreed: there is no need to change the Stability Pact," Merkel told reporters, referring to a strict set of EU fiscal rules requiring member states to keep their deficits in check.

"The Stability Pact as it now stands already contains all the flexibility we need to overcome the problems. We're all convinced of that," Merkel told a joint news conference with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

German economy minister and deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had hinted in a newspaper interview that countries such as France and Italy could be given more time to get their finances in order.

 
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