Bloomberg News

Schaeuble Denies German-French Rift Delaying Leveraging Decision

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble denied that a rift between Germany and France is holding up an agreement on how to boost the firepower of the euro area’s rescue fund.

“France and Germany are not at all stuck in their positions” on leveraging the European Financial Stability Facility, Schaeuble told reporters today in Brussels as he arrived for a meeting of euro-area finance ministers. “France and Germany acted very closely together, so we advanced a lot in the negotiations on the guidelines. That was a Franco-German proposal which brought movement into the whole affair.”

“The fact that we need a summit next week is linked to the fact that under German law we first need agreement of the Parliament on the use of instruments of the expanded EFSF,” Schaeuble said. “And if decisions aren’t prepared to a certain degree in advance, we can’t decide and we told our partners this; everyone understands this.”

Schaeuble said today’s meeting will address the latest evaluation on Greece’s progress in meeting its budget goals.

“We will first tackle the troika report as a basis for the preparation of the next Greek tranche which is an important decision,” he said.

For the euro area as a whole, “the situation is serious and we have a great responsibility; everyone knows that,” Schaeuble said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jones Hayden at

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