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Merkel backs added EU budgetary surveillance

AFP · 12 May 2010, 17:40

Published: 12 May 2010 17:40 GMT+02:00

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Asked about the proposals to create a new pan-European governance regime aimed at taming mounting state debt which threatens the region's financial stability and its wider economic recovery, Merkel was largely upbeat.

"I think they are not yet sufficient but they are an important step in the right direction," she told reporters after talks with visiting Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, adding that the recommendations would now be "thoroughly debated" in the member states.

Grilled in particular on a proposal that would see the European Union vet member states' budgets before national parliaments do, which has already drawn an angry reaction from Sweden, the chancellor was sanguine.

"First of all, I would say that the budgetary plans of the member states are not secret anyway so the Commission can already today form an opinion about what governments put forward during budgetary debates," she said.

"That does not mean automatically that the budgetary rights of parliament are being called into question in any way. The fact that the Commission can then comment at an early stage and say a budget in no way fulfils the Stability and Growth criteria is, I believe, not a bad thing."

She said such a review would not "supersede" national parliaments' prerogative in budget matters.

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Other changes sought by the European Commission include a possible freeze on EU subsidies for eurozone countries that repeatedly breach bloc rules on permitted deficit and debt levels set out in the EU Stability and Growth Pact.

Merkel called for a stronger "surveillance mechanism" for the Pact, adding that such drastic reforms would require changes to the Lisbon Treaty governing decision-making in the 27-nation bloc.

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Your comments about this article

18:16 May 12, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Good Luck, ANGELA!

But isn't it a little late? And don't you think the Money is just plugging a Hole in the Dam temporarily? Causing an artificial Govt. created financial market run similar to what got us into this "Depression" mess in the first place? What happens when the 1 Trillion runs out? Everything will be all better? Money well spent?

Good thing there are still lots of free museums around! Money is gonna be tight after this fiasco.
22:18 May 12, 2010 by Fruitkok
I just read that the new British government will hold referenda on all new EU treaties. So I guess changes to Lisbon will never pass the British people.
20:01 May 15, 2010 by ColoSlim
What a great deal for Germany! The Euro is down and exports are up. Keep pushing your cheaper goods out the door and use the trade surplus to fund relief programs for your less responsible partners. So what's the problem?
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