EU’s Gentiloni urges Germany to debate reform of EU debt rules

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BERLIN, Nov 26 (Reuters) – The European Union’s Economy Commissioner has urged Germany’s incoming government to debate a reform of EU debt rules in view of the economic strains caused by the coronavirus crisis, with the aim of achieving a “realistic” compromise.

In their coalition deal, the three parties forming the new German government agreed to strengthen the EU’s economic and monetary union and signalled an openness to reform the bloc’s fiscal rules, also known as the Stability and Growth Pact.

European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper he was counting on a compromise with Christian Lindner, the leader of Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP) and the designated new finance minister.

“I expect the awareness that it is necessary to reach a consensus so that the budget rules are realistic,” Gentiloni told the newspaper. “The role of the German government will be very important.” The high national debt of euro states could only be reduced very slowly in view of the coronavirus economic fallout without endangering an economic recovery, he said.

Photo – EU commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ / POOL

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