Berlin wants tougher EU economic reforms monitor: source

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Germany favours a more robust and permanent system of assessing reforms undertaken by debt-mired European countries than is currently used, a source close to the government said Friday.

"This troika system which gives its opinion every three months causes us too much stress," the source said referring to EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank officials.

"We need a solution which is much more permanent, which permits (aid instruments) to be adapted much more quickly," the source added.

One of the issues facing EU leaders, meeting in Brussels Sunday, will be how to monitor in future the implementation of reform programmes demanded of countries in exchange for aid, the source said.

This would concern Greece, Portugal and Ireland who have had to be bailed out by EU-IMF debt rescue programmes under which they got funding in exchange for meeting tough economic targets on debt and spending.

Athens is urgently awaiting payment of a sixth tranche of an 110-billion-euro bailout approved last year amid differences within the 'troika' over how much progress it has made in stabilising its public finances.

Without specifically naming them, the German source also stepped up pressure on Spain and Italy, referring to "the two countries helped by the ECB" which has been buying Italian and Spanish debt since the summer.

In Brussels at the weekend, "we expect some decisive steps of budgetary consolidation from countries who are in the markets' sights," the German government source added.

© 2011 AFP

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