EU Meeting: Germany steps back from hardline

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2010 2:16 PM
EU Meeting: Germany steps back from hardline

GERMANY RELENTS: The country that had stood firmly on strict adherence to eurozone budget rules relented Monday, saying the country was open to other options that would give struggling countries more breathing room.

AT ISSUE: The European Commission, the EU's executive, wanted to impose near-automatic sanctions on nations that breach the bloc's deficit and debt levels.

SCANDINAVIA STEWS: Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands have long counted on Germany, with its economic weight, to be the enforcer of rules they believe in. Economic officials from the three nations appeared frustrated by the sudden turnaround ahead of a two-day meeting of EU finance ministers.