World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


EU: Flexible Interpretation of Stability Pact

Schröder and Chirac plead for flexible interpretation of stability pact

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and President Jacques Chirac have asked their European partners to be tolerant of the large budget deficits their countries currently have. After a meeting the two leaders pleaded for a flexible interpretation of the EU stability pact.

Both heads of government are determined to reduce their countries' budget deficits. Schröder remarked that the EU Commission "should be interested in seeing the German and French economies grow, since their growth has a very strong effect on European growth."

Chirac noted that the governments in Berlin and Paris do not want to "run the risk of interrupting the process of economic recovery" and, as such, have asked the EU Commission and the European partners to be understanding of the reform processes taking place in Germany and France and of the budget problems that are accompanying these processes.

Germany is Europe's largest economy, France its second largest. Both are struggling not to exceed the three percent deficit limit agreed among euro-zone countries. France expects to exceed the limit for the third time in a row next year. The stability pact calls for penalties in such cases.

Germany wants to bring its budget deficit back down below the three percent limit in 2004 after exceeding it for two years in a row. However, this is going to be very difficult. Germany reported a budget deficit of 3.8 percent to the European Commission for 2003.

Full agreement between Germany and France on European issues

Schröder noted that there is full agreement between the French President and himself on European issues. Chirac, for his part, underscored the unity of views taken by the two governments on the EU constitution, EU budget policy, as well as the situation in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

With regard to the draft constitution currently being discussed at an EU intergovernmental conference Schröder said he and Chirac agreed that the proposed text is good and that anyone wanting to take apart the package that was put together by the European Convention would have to come up with something better and that would be very difficult to achieve.

>> Europe needs a constitution

Chancellor Schröder and President Chirac met in Paris on Sunday, October 12. Their foreign ministers, Joschka Fischer and Dominique de Villepin, were also present at the informal meeting. They discussed European and international issues in the course of a working luncheon .

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

ILO: Impact On Workers Of COVID-19 Is ‘catastrophic’

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>