Berlin confident of pushing through EU budget pact

Berlin confident of pushing through EU budget pact
Photo: DPA
The German government is confident of winning the necessary two-thirds majority in parliament to approve the EU's new pact to control budgets, a spokesman said on Monday.

However, opposition parties have already begun to air demands in return for their backing of the treaty on fiscal discipline, signed by 25 of the EU’s 27 members in Brussels Friday.

“The government is completely confident that this approach is going to be supported by a large majority,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Monday’s press conference.

He was referring to the need for a two-thirds majority of the members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament as well as the Bundesrat upper chamber to vote in favour, because it would involve a constitutional change.

But the opposition Social Democratic Party is demanding “accompanying measures in support of growth” in return for its green light, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who heads the party’s parliamentary grouping, said on Sunday.

The Green party parliamentary leader Jürgen Trittin called for the introduction of a financial transaction tax in the eurozone by May in return for his party’s support.

Both opposition parties have supported Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government in past Bundestag votes on eurozone bailout issues. Last Monday, parliament widely approved a second bailout for Greece.

No date has yet been set for the German parliamentary votes on the fiscal pact.


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