Euro head rejects ‘artificial’ divisions

Euro head rejects ‘artificial’ divisions

LUXEMBOURG - Agence France-Presse

Euro finance ministers’ head Jean-Claude Juncker rejected Monday any debt crisis solutions that would divide the EU, reacting to German-French ideas for an inner eurozone club.

“It is not good to artificially divide the EU into two groups, it is important not to create differences between the 27 [EU member states] and the 17” members of the euro currency area, he told reporters.

The Luxembourg prime minister, who will chair on Tuesday talks among euro finance ministers in Brussels, was speaking alongside Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorming Schmidt, whose country takes over the EU’s rotating presidency on January 1.

She does so in a time of deep crisis both for the euro and the European Union as a whole.

As an EU state like Britain with an opt-out from the obligation of euro membership, Thorming Schmidt said that “in a time of crisis, it is important to keep the 27 unified and reject unnecessary divisions.”

Likewise, Juncker said that any treaty change to impose tighter fiscal discipline -- proposed most strongly by Germany -- must be negotiated at the level of the 27 EU governments, “and not only the eurozone.”