Germany's Merkel rules out reopening EU fiscal pact
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday repeated her opposition to revisit an EU fiscal pact despite growing calls that leaders privilege growth in the eurozone instead of just austerity.
The treaty, signed by 25 of the 27 European Union member nations, "is not renegotiable", Merkel told the WAZ regional news group.
As to "the challenge of growth, it has long been the second pillar of our policy alongside sound public finances", Merkel said.
Merkel was referring to calls by the French presidential candidate Francois Hollande for Europe to seek growth instead of just austerity in order to end the debt crisis that has plagued the eurozone for the past two years.
The Socialist frontrunner's call for the EU fiscal pact to be renegotiated to include ways to boost growth had been derided by his opponent President Nicolas Sarkozy as naive and dangerous, and a breach of France's word to its partners.
But on Wednesday, European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi called for growth initiatives and Merkel had conceded that new measures were needed, although neither shifted in their support for the pact.
Merkel, of Germany's centre-right Christian Democrats, said she supported Sarkozy in the election because of their ideological closeness and because of the work carried out together "for the good of Europe" throughout the crisis.
But Merkel also told WAZ that solid ties between France and Germany would continue no matter what because the remaining contenders in the French run-off election on May 6 were both "pro-European".
© 2012 AFP