German ex-chancellor says more time needed for EU reforms

|By:, SA News Editor

As EU policymakers continue talks regarding budget consolidation, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder stressed the need for southern European indebted countries to be given more time to fix their budgets, lest voters turn to extremes on the political right and left.

EU rules allow for slower budget consolidation if a country makes investments or undertakes structural reforms, although officials want to see proof that real reform efforts are taking place.

During a meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, finance ministers agreed there was no need to change the EU Stability and Growth Pact, which reduces budget deficits to 3% of gross domestic and public debt to 60% of GDP.