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Luxembourg slams ‘arrogant’ Berlin, Paris ahead of EU summit

Luxembourg’s foreign minister Wednesday lashed out at European heavyweights France and Germany, accusing them of “arrogance” ahead of a crunch EU summit designed to shore up the crisis-hit euro.

In an interview with German daily Die Welt, Jean Asselborn attacked Paris and Berlin for acting “theatrically” by causing problems, only to ride dramatically to the rescue later.

“I can only warn France and Germany against a claim to power that shows a certain haughtiness and arrogance that disregards the European principle of subsidiarity,” Asselborn said.

“All 27 countries must take joint responsibility for the EU’s future and it cannot just be prescribed by the big countries,” he added.

“Germany will come to realise that its theatrical performances of the past months are no good for anyone.”

EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to tackle plans to set up a permanent rescue fund to deal with potential future sovereign debt crises such as those that have recently afflicted Greece and Ireland.

Chancellor Angela Merkel came under fire earlier this year for appearing to prevaricate over helping out Greece and has been attacked for dismissing out of hand a proposal from Luxembourg and Italy to issue common European bonds.

Asselborn said he did not expect the topic of so-called E-bonds to crop up at the summit but said: “I am fairly sure that eurobonds will be introduced in the future in some form or other.”

The idea of joint eurobonds should not be rejected “just because it did not grow in France and Germany’s garden,” he said.

Later Wednesday, Merkel is expected to make a speech in parliament setting out Germany’s position ahead of the summit and is likely to reiterate her opposition to eurobonds.