Dutch leader satisfied with euro agreements
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said he is satisfied with the agreements on budgetary discipline reached last night between European leaders in Brussels.
Mr Rutte supports France and Germany in pushing for tough new budgetary rules to be enshrined in the accord. The Dutch leader said the EU budget commissioner will be given powers to enforce financial discipline on countries who fail to comply with the rules.
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s demands for “a series of exonerations” for London’s financial services were insupportable, Mr Rutte said. “London would then get an advantageous competitive position above Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Paris and Frankfurt and that’s unacceptable.” Cameron blocks change Mr Cameron said on Friday that he had taken a "tough but good" decision to block a change to the EU treaty presented by France and Germany as the way to resolve the eurozone debt crisis.
Amid fears Britain could be sidelined by his decision not to go ahead with the closer integration signed up by 23 other EU countries, the British leader said he had insisted that European institutions would continue to work for all 27 members.
And after reports of fierce clashes with France, Prime Minister Cameron did not deny that the differences between those that have adopted the euro and those have not has resulted in some discord.
"The decisions taken here tonight all flow from one thing: the fact there is a single currency in Europe: the euro. Britain is out of it and will remain out of it," Mr Cameron pledged.
Separate pact German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had wanted to get all 27 EU states to agree to changes to the EU's treaties to tackle the eurozone crisis.
After the talks, which went on deep into the night, Mr Sarkozy said the 17 eurozone states and other EU members would work on a separate pact instead.
Unable to convince his peers that Britain should be given veto power over any changes to financial regulation that could affect the powerful city of London, Prime Minister Cameron said he would not sign up to an EU-wide treaty change. Hungary joins Britain Along with Britain, Hungary decided against joining the group. Sweden and the Czech Republic said they had to consult their parliaments before making a decision.
The result, said EU president Herman Van Rompuy, was that the eurozone 17, plus six others, had decided to go ahead without the others.
Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt joked on Twitter: "Worried that Britain is starting to drift away from Europe in a serious way. To where? In a strong alliance with Hungary."
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