Brussels

France, Germany clash over control of national budgets

Monti meets France's Hollande at EU summit

France, Germany clash over control of national budgets

(ANSA) - Brussels, October 18 - Germany and France clashed Thursday over control of national budgets as a summit of European Union leaders began. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for greater powers for the European Commission to veto national budgets that breach EU rules. However, French President Francois Hollande argued that that issue was not on the summit agenda. Instead, he said, priority must be given to steps leading to a European banking union. Merkel, who is reluctant to see German banks brought under outside supervision, told parliament in Berlin before the summit began that quality in a banking regulator is more important than implementing it with speed. Italian Premier Mario Monti may yet play peacemaker in the dispute. He held a bilateral meeting with Hollande as the summit began, and later met with the president of the EU Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

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