German finance minister disappointed with EU summit outcome

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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Saturday he was disappointed by the outcome of last week's EU summit where Britain refused to join eurozone members in a new fiscal pact.

"I had been optimistic that we would obtain a change to the European treaties. Unfortunately, this did not happen," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"This would have been a better solution. As things stand now, implementation and communication is more complicated," he said.

Schaeuble said he had hoped the meeting would send a "clear and simple message to the markets".

Leaders from 26 of the 27 European Union member states agreed at a high-stakes Brussels summit last week 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 changes to an EU-wide treaty, the other 26 EU states signalled their willingness to join a "new fiscal compact" imposing tougher budget rules.

© 2011 AFP

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