Merkel backs backs penalities for failing to meet euro rules
Germany backs plans to amend European Union agreements that penalize those countries that fail to meet criteria for joining the eurozone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.
"Latvia and Germany support strict measures so that there won't be too many exceptions," Merkel told a group of German and Latvian businessmen in the Latvian capital Riga, adding that countries violating eurozone membership rules should be penalized.
Such rules principally apply to a member's fiscal policies. Members for example are bound to hold their annual public deficits to below 3.0 percent of gross domestic product.
Merkel said Germany supported changes to the Lisbon Treaty to implement such penalties.
Germany paid the lion's share of a bailout for fellow eurozone member Greece, which has been struggling with a huge debt and public deficit.
Leaders of the 27 European Union nations are set to discuss EU economic governance at a summit in Brussels next week
Merkel said Germany did not yet have the backing of the majority of EU members required to amend the agreements.
© 2010 AFP