BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Commission should be able to veto national budgets if they breach the European Union’s common fiscal rules, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday.
The comments come amid tensions between Berlin, which insists on fiscal discipline, and Paris, which has been running a budget deficit for several years.
“Since not everybody in Europe has fully internalised yet that it makes sense to abide by the rules, I am in favour of giving the new EU Economic Affairs Commissioner the right to veto irregular draft budgets of member states,” Schaeuble said in a speech in Berlin, without naming any particular country.
European Commission recommendations on national budgets should be binding, Schaeuble said, adding that the eurozone needed to show it was united in its determination to improve its fiscal governance.
The EU Commission is assessing draft national budgets of the eurozone countries under powers it gained last year to ensure that draft plans are in line with EU agreements.
On Friday, Brussels postponed until March its decisions on whether the 2015 budgets of France, Italy and Belgium break EU rules, saying it needed more information to be sure.