Bloomberg News

Clegg Says EU Fiscal Rules Should Be ‘Folded Into’ Treaties

January 09, 2012

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for changes to the way euro-area countries monitor each other’s spending to be “folded into” existing treaties to prevent multiple rulebooks governing members of the 27-nation European Union.

“We believe that it should, over time, be folded into existing treaties so that you don’t get permanent two parallel treaties working separately from each other,” Clegg told reporters in London today following talks with leaders from European liberal parties, which included EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commission Olli Rehn and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “We all see this as a temporary arrangement.”

Prime Minister David Cameron angered the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in Britain’s governing coalition, by refusing to back treaty changes aimed at ending the crisis in the euro region. Clegg said last month that Britain is already working with Europe to get “back into the mainstream of the debate” after Cameron’s veto.

Clegg said new rules should be limited as much as possible to monitoring fiscal policy and prevented from straying into broader areas of economic management.

Separately, Clegg said the U.K. would support “politically and financially” the International Monetary Fund, when asked if the U.K. would consider increasing its contribution to the Washington-based lender to help it deal with the euro-region crisis.

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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