Merkel to address Bundestag on euro crisis pact: spokesman

12th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Chancellor Angela Merkel will address German lawmakers this week on the euro crisis pact agreed by all European states except Britain at last week's summit, her spokesman said on Monday.

"The federal chancellor will deliver a government statement on Europe policy and the results of the European Council... to the German lower house of parliament on Wednesday around midday," Steffen Seibert said.

The exact time would be announced later, he told a regular media briefing.

European Union leaders from 26 of the 27 member states agreed on Friday at a two-day Brussels summit to back a Franco-German drive for tighter budget policing in a bid to save the eurozone.

After Britain, which does not use the euro, blocked an EU-wide treaty, the other 26 EU states signalled their willingness to join a "new fiscal compact" which will see new budget rules enshrined in a modified EU treaty.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, under pressure from "eurosceptics" within his own Conservative party, argued it would have threatened Britain's vital financial services sector in the City of London.

Merkel sought to play down Britain choosing to go its own way, telling reporters in Brussels: "The British were already not in the euro, and in that respect, we are used to this situation."

The accord, which is to include automatic sanctions that can only be blocked by a large majority of states, aims to end past practices of overspending responsible for the two-year debt crisis ravaging Europe.

Leaders also pledged to pump 200 billion euros ($265 billion) into International Monetary Fund coffers to help the eurozone, which is struggling to boost its own rescue fund to one trillion euros.

A German-led drive to make the private sector accept losses in future rescues was abandoned but Berlin won other battles, notably when EU leaders dropped the idea of pooling debt by issuing joint eurozone bonds.

© 2011 AFP

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