Franco-German compromise 'irresponsible': commissioner

26th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding has slammed a Franco-German compromise on reform of the EU Stability and Growth pact as "irresponsible," in an interview to appear on Wednesday.

"It seems completely irresponsible to put illusions about new treaties on the table," Reding told the German daily Die Welt in reference to a compromise unveiled by Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy this month.

The deal nixed German insistence on automatic sanctions against profligate eurozone members in exchange for a French pledge to pursue changes to European Union treaties that would allow for orderly defaults of bankrupt countries.

"Have they not understood that it took us 10 years to finalise the Lisbon Treaty," Reding asked in reference to a reform of EU institutions and practices that took a decade to approve.

"And that this treaty contains enough elements to underpin rescue measures for states with parlous finances," she continued.

"Here are two countries that breached the Stability Pact in 2004 and 2005," the Luxembourg-born commissioner continued in a reference to rules limiting overspending by EU public sectors. "And they are the same that now want to dilute the rules a little more."

Both France and Germany, the two biggest eurozone economies, ran public deficits in those years of more than three percent of gross domestic product, a limit laid down in the pact at German insistence to ensure fiscal discipline.

"European Union decisions are not taken in Deauville," Reding stressed, echoing complaints from smaller EU countries against the Franco-German deal struck in the northern French city.

Her comments are likely to further irritate French officials who responded sharply to the Reding's harsh criticism of expulsions of eastern European Roma from France this summer.

© 2010 AFP

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