March 14, 2018 / 4:27 PM / 9 days ago

Merkel says can't mutualise EU debts without competitiveness gains

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday Germany was ready to put up more money for the European Union budget but could not accept a mutualisation of debt without gains in competitiveness.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits on the government bench after a swear-in ceremony in Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

“We have made clear in our coalition agreement that we are ready to provide more money for the EU budget,” Merkel told broadcaster ZDF.

“But what is not on is to confuse liability and responsibility, or to simply mutualise debts without becoming competitive,” she said, suggesting that countries’ debts could be mutualised at some point if other EU states improve their competitiveness.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michael Nienaber

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