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Merkel, Opposition Negotiating EU Growth Policy

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with the country’s opposition leaders to forge a compromise on proposals for a European growth initiative.

Her center-right government needs the support of opposition parties to secure a two-thirds majority for the EU’s new treaty enshrining fiscal discipline in Parliament.

Germany’s main center-left opposition parties said ahead of Wednesday’s meeting they would only vote for the so-called fiscal pact if it is amended to include an economic growth pact to support southern Europe’s ailing nations, echoing similar proposals by France’s new President Francois Hollande.

Merkel maintains sustainable growth can be best fostered across Europe by structural reforms and a more efficient use of existing EU funds, not new deficit-financed spending.

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