German finance minister urges EU treaty change, currency commissioner

Published October 16, 2012

| Reuters

Germany's finance minister called on Tuesday for the creation of a 'currency commissioner' for the euro zone with wide-ranging powers over national budgets as part of an overhaul of the EU treaty to deepen integration and end the bloc's debt crisis.

Wolfgang Schaeuble also backed reform of the European Parliament to ensure that only lawmakers from countries affected by a particular issue could vote on it.

He said he had spoken with Chancellor Angela Merkel about the proposals, adding that she was "somewhat more cautious" about them.

Speaking to reporters on his way back from an Asian tour, Schaeuble said the European Union should start to discuss his proposals for treaty change at a summit in Brussels this week.

"We must now make bigger steps in the direction of a fiscal union... We must use this chance (of the euro zone's debt and financial crisis)," said Schaeuble, a longtime supporter of closer EU integration.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller, writing by Gareth Jones, editing by Noah Barkin)

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