Germany wants plan to slash deficits in euro nations: report

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Germany plans to propose a deficit-reduction programme for countries using the euro, a magazine reported Saturday, with the currency weakening in the face of a spiralling debt crisis.

"The German government wants to soon present an initiative in favour of a common European deficit reduction plan in the eurozone," German weekly Der Spiegel reported on its website.

Such a plan would be aimed at "repairing damaged confidence in the single currency," it said.

The proposal would be advanced by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at upcoming meetings of his counterparts from the eurozone, the magazine reported. The next such meeting is Monday in Brussels.

Germany's deficit-reduction plan follows a European Commission proposal on Wednesday to pre-vet member states' budgets from next year.

The European Commission plan drew decidedly mixed reactions from Germany, Europe's biggest economy, and France.

Battered by persistent concerns about the eurozone's spiralling debt crisis, the euro fell on Friday to an 18-month low against the dollar.

The euro's decline has come despite a massive rescue package unveiled Monday amid fears that the perilous debt crisis in European Union member Greece could spread to other countries in the 16-nation eurozone.

© 2010 AFP

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