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Eurozone leaders in tussle over budget rules

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB) gives a press conference following the meeting of the ECB Governing Council in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on July 3, 2014Leaders from struggling eurozone economies continued a push to loosen strict EU budget rules Monday despite firm opposition from Germany, which feels that flexibility must be matched by structural reform. “We must find a balance between stability in the rules and a flexible and intelligent interpretation of these rules,” Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said upon arrival for talks with eurozone counterparts. With the worst of the debt crisis in the past, “some flexibility (…) would be welcomed,” Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan agreed. All 28 members of the European Union are bound by the Stability and Growth Pact which sets limits on the size of deficits and amount of public debt a country can run up every year.

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