EU fiscal union framework could be in place soon: Germany

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Europe could put in place very soon a framework of deeper fiscal integration that would prevent the debt crisis from happening again, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday.

In a speech to the European Banking Congress here, Schaeuble said that without creating a full-fledged political union, the 17 countries that share the euro should create the necessary structures for a new form of economic governance.

And the basic framework for a fiscal union could be drawn up "in less than 24 months", Schaeuble said.

"When we have a single currency without a common fiscal policy, we have problems," the minister said, arguing that the EU's current stability and growth pact did not go far enough.

Schaeuble said "we must not lose momentum... and ease up" on the necessary institutional and structural reforms.

"The crisis isn't over. We're in the middle of it" and it will get worse, Schaeuble said.

© 2011 AFP

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