EU commission chief Barroso criticises Germany

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The head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, took German leaders to task Tuesday in a press interview for failing to drum up popular support for the crisis-hit euro.

"In recent years, there have not been many leading German political voices to explain to the public how important the euro is for Germany," Barroso told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper.

"Germany has been a great winner of the euro. I think more politicians in Germany should say that clearly," Barroso said.

German voters are uneasy about a 110-billion-euro (135-billion-dollar) bail-out of stricken eurozone member Greece and a 750-billion-euro rescue package put together earlier this month in a bid to prop up the euro.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has also been criticised for hesitating over whether to contribute to the bailout and of thereby exacerbating the crisis.

"Our decision-making process simply lasted too long. (Financial) markets have seen too many contradictory signs," Barroso told the FAZ.

With respect to changes Germany wants to see in the EU's Security and Growth Pact, he said "we won't make any proposals for treaty amendments."

"It would be naïve to believe that we can reform the treaty only in those areas which are important for the Germans. Of course Britain and others would then come with their wishes too," Barroso noted.

The euro traded for 1.2304 dollars on Tuesday, having lost around 14 percent of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year.

© 2010 AFP

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