Italy's and France's reforms are insufficient, says Merkel

(AGI) Berlin, Dec. 7 - The reforms promoted by Italy and Franceare insufficient, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Die Weltin an interview published on Sunday. The statement came oneweek after Brussels called a truce with Rome and Paris on howto improve their public finances. "But the Commission has alsosaid in a clear manner that what is on the table to date isstill insufficient. That's something that I agree with", Ms.Merkel said. The Italian government replied through theUndersecretary for European Affairs, Mr. Sandro Gozzi, whosaid: "Berlin must respect Rome, focus on its

(AGI) Berlin, Dec. 7 - The reforms promoted by Italy and Franceare insufficient, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Die Weltin an interview published on Sunday. The statement came oneweek after Brussels called a truce with Rome and Paris on howto improve their public finances. "But the Commission has alsosaid in a clear manner that what is on the table to date isstill insufficient. That's something that I agree with", Ms.Merkel said. The Italian government replied through theUndersecretary for European Affairs, Mr. Sandro Gozzi, whosaid: "Berlin must respect Rome, focus on its own problems andmake an important contribution to Europe: the reasoning basedon doing one's homework is over". He added: "We are very sorrythat the reforms launched by the government led by Mr. Renzi,which were greeted with expressions of appreciation worldwide,by the United States President Barack Obama and theInternational Monetary Fund alike, are considered to beinsufficient by German Chancellor Angela Merkel", who describedthem as such in an interview to German newspaper Die Welt. "Inaddition to the contents, there is also a question of style",Mr. Gozzi said and continued: "It is not up to the heads ofgovernment to interpret the opinions of the EuropeanCommission. The Italian government never took the liberty ofgiving a report card to a EU Member Country and we ask Germanyto do the same. Nobody intends to cane Berlin or give lessonsto other governments. The time and the wrong reasoning of doingone's homework is over and done with: accounting systems andreport cards must make way for politics. Perhaps ChancellorMerket could focus her attention on domestic demand, on thelack of investments and on the imbalance in Germany's balanceof payments. It would be an important contribution from Berlin,that Europe has been expecting for a long time and that hasn'tbeen made yet. We are involved in a difficult reform effort inthe interest of Italy which, we are sure, will benefit theentire eurozone". (AGI) . .