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Greece Rejects German Proposal For Budget Monitoring

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (file photo)
The finance minister of Greece, Evangelos Venizelos, has bluntly rejected a suggestion by Germany's economy minister for the EU to take control over its tax and spend decisions, citing national sovereignty.

Venizelos said that “whoever hands people a dilemma between financial aid and national dignity is ignoring basic historical lessons.”

German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler had said in an interview published on January 30 -- with EU leaders meeting to discuss the eurozone's financial troubles -- that he supported stricter EU monitoring of Greece.

The proposal foresees an EU commissioner holding a veto right against any budgetary measures and having broad surveillance ability to ensure that Greece takes proper steps to repay its debt as scheduled.

The European Commission also said there was no question of Athens surrendering budgetary control.

Venizelos said the plan cited by Roesler amounted to a choice between financial assistance and "national dignity."

compiled from agency reports