Merkel says fiscal pact not up for renegotiation

Merkel says fiscal pact not up for renegotiation

BERLIN - Reuters
Merkel says fiscal pact not up for renegotiation

German Chancellor Merkel delivers a speech during an election rally April 26. REUTERS photo

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any renegotiation of the fiscal pact on budget discipline agreed by 25 European Union governments and rejected criticism that the bloc was not focusing on growth.

The centre-right German leader, who pushed the pact on her EU peers to tackle what she sees as the root causes of the euro zone crisis, told German newspaper group WAZ that EU leaders were already working on concrete proposals for growth and jobs.

“The fiscal pact has been negotiated, it was signed by 25 government heads and is already ratified by Portugal and Greece. Parliaments all over Europe are about to adopt it. Ireland has a referendum on it at the end of May,” she said in the interview published on April 27. “It is not renegotiable.”

Francois Hollande, the French Socialist who faces President Nicolas Sarkozy in a second-round presidential vote in May, has threatened to seek a renegotiation of the fiscal pact if he wins. But he suggested this week that a compromise was possible in which the fiscal pact was ratified in its current form and later complemented by a new agreement to boost growth and employment in Europe.

“The subject of growth, which many are calling for, has long been our second policy pillar alongside solid finances,” Merkel said, adding that EU leaders had already agreed to come up with concrete proposals to stimulate growth and job creation by their summit in June.