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EU: Finance Ministers Meet On Single Currency

Luxembourg, 9 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- European Union economic and finance ministers are meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss plans for a single currency -- plans that look increasingly shaky after recent events in Germany and France.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, finance minister in France's newly-elected Socialist government, said his country asked for what he called "a period of evaluation" on the single-currency stability pact. That pact would require countries using the single currency to pay heavy fines if their public deficits pass a specified level.

Correspondents say the request could delay formal adoption of the single-currency pact, scheduled for an Amsterdam summit of EU leaders next week. The single currency -- to be called the euro -- is to be introduced in 1999.

German Finance Minister Theo Waigel, who was himself humiliated last week in efforts to revalue German central bank reserves to meet requirements for single currency, reacted to the French request by saying the single-currency pact is n-o-t up for discussion or negotiation.