France slams EU commissioner's 'unacceptable' criticisms
France accused European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding on Tuesday of hounding it with "unacceptable" criticisms of French and German proposals to toughen EU budget rules.
France's minister for Europe Pierre Lellouche reacted angrily to comments by Reding who called the plans "irresponsible" in a newspaper interview.
Lellouche said Reding "seems determined to pursue her condemnation of our country by widening it now to Germany," speaking during a debate in the Senate.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said last week that France and Germany would propose new rules to sanction EU countries that run an excessive public deficit, proposing revisions to the bloc's Lisbon Treaty.
Reding told the German daily Die Welt in Wednesday's edition: "It seems completely irresponsible to put illusions about new treaties on the table."
Lellouche said: "The terms this European Commissioner uses to denigrate the France-German proposals are unacceptable and of the same tenor as the insulting language, which I will not forget, used against France during the controversy that she herself fuelled over the Roma."
Reding offended Sarkozy last month when she drew a parallel between the controversial expulsions of Roma minorities by France and the World War II deportations.
© 2010 AFP