Chirac urges 'flexibility' on EU pact sanctions

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

BLOMBERG, Germany, March 7 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said on Monday that the European Union Stability and Growth Pact must have a "political" dimension and not be enforced without flexibility.

BLOMBERG, Germany, March 7 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said on Monday that the European Union Stability and Growth Pact must have a "political" dimension and not be enforced without flexibility.

Speaking in Blomberg, northern Germany after talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Chirac said that sanctions should not be automatically triggered once the pact's guidelines are exceeded.

Warning against "technocratic brutality," Chirac said the pact "must not be purely technocratic, it must be political".

He said: "Each country has its own different characteristics."

Germany and France are in breach of the spending restrictions in the pact, which is the subject of ministerial discussions in Brussels over ways to adapt or reinterpret how it works in underpinning the credibility of the euro.

Under the pact, the 12 countries using the eurozone single currency are not allowed to run public deficits in excess of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product.

"There is spending, and there is spending," Chirac said.

"Investment and research spending" prepare "the riches of tomorrow".

Schroeder, for his part, will travel to Luxembourg on Tuesday to hold talks with the current EU rotating president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to defend "the common position" of Berlin and Paris.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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