The finance ministers of France and Germany have renewed their resolve to help overcoming the eurozone's debt crisis as quickly as possible. At a meeting in Berlin, they also debated public deficit issues.
Talking in front of students at Berlin's Free University, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Tuesday made it clear that for him the creation of a banking union would be a crucial part of Europe's endeavors to overcome its financial and sovereign debt crisis.
He called it a "priority project" and promised to press ahead with it quickly. Schäuble stressed the importance of institutional changes in the bloc in the medium term, but added Europe should not wait for this to solve its current problems.
Thank you, Brussels!
His French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici said at the same event he was glad the European Commission had granted his country two additional years to get its public deficit below the limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product to account for the current economic downturn in the eurozone's second-largest economy.
Moscovici said countries certainly had to reduce their debt loads, but should be able to do this at an appropriate pace so as not to stifle growth. He added that Paris did not see the EU executive's decision as an excuse to neglect required structural reforms.
"Of course, we have to make sure public finances are put right, but you have to take into account the national situations and define the right rhythm for preserving growth prospects," Moscovici maintained.
hg/mz (dpa, Reuters)