posted at 04:50
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German finance minister wants EU to have budget veto powers
The comments come amid tensions between Berlin, which has preached fiscal discipline, and Paris, which is running a budget deficit and urging more stimulus spending. Schaeuble said the eurozone needed to show it is united in the determination to improve its fiscal governance. "We need to show that we want to jointly proceed toward a fiscal union," he told Focus. "We have achieved this with the banking union but not yet with the fiscal union." The timing would be good, given the recent election of a new European Parliament and a new European Commission, he said. "But we should at least equip the economic and monetary affairs commissioner with the same rights as our competition commissioner," said Schaeuble. France, grappling with sky-high unemployment and a ballooning budget deficit, has been spearheading a campaign for Germany to soften its stance on fiscal austerity. Germany's EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, an ally of austerity-touting Chancellor Angela Merkel, last week wrote an article in French daily Les Echos and the Financial Times in which he criticised France for breaking the rules and failing to bring in reforms.

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