© Reuters. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner attends a press conference on the day the cabinet presents the national security strategy, at the House of ‘Bundespressekonferenz’ in Berlin, Germany June 14, 2023. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/FILE PHOTO

(Reuters) -German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said there were many member states that share Germany’s position on reforms to the European Union’s debt rules, ahead of a finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Friday to discuss the issue.

“We need common rules that are the same for everyone. We need a reliable path to lower deficits and also to lower debt levels overall,” said Lindner, who added that the aim was now to find consensus on the technical suggestions.

He said an opinion piece calling for strict fiscal rules that he co-wrote along with 10 other finance ministers was a statement that Germany is not alone in its concerns about the commission’s proposal to negotiate tailored debt reduction paths with individual member states.

“There are many more member states” that want to work in the same direction as Germany does, Lindner added.

The minister also said he did not see any leeway for additional German payments into the EU budget. “This is not the time to ask member states for more funding,” he said.

He said there were very difficult negotiations within the German government to draw up the budget for 2024, which is to be significantly consolidated compared with previous years.


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