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France rejects Spain eurozone pact claim

AFP · 25 Jul 2012, 08:18

Published: 25 Jul 2012 08:18 GMT+02:00

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French European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve flatly denied the three countries had made a joint declaration.
"There has been no common approach with Italy and Spain. I have not asked for the immediate application of the accords. It makes no sense to say that. We are following the decisions taken at the European summit and are working on them," he told AFP.
"This has not been discussed between us," the minister added.
Rome meanwhile expressed "its stupor with respect to the initiative announced by the Spanish foreign ministry regarding a supposed joint declaration by Spain, Italy and France -- an initiative the government has not been informed of."
Earlier Tuesday the Spanish government said in a statement that the three countries had agreed that emergency financial reforms agreed by the eurozone be immediately applied.
"Spain, France and Italy demand the immediate execution of the agreements" made at a Brussels summit on June 29th, when European Union leaders approved measures to support banks and growth, the statement released by the Spanish foreign ministry said.
"Speed is an essential condition for the success of any European action," it quoted Spain's junior minister for European Affairs, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, as saying.
Following the angry denials by France and Italy, Mendez de Vigo backtracked, releasing a statement saying that "at no moment (did he have) the intention of saying that there was a joint statement between the three countries."
"There is a worrying delay between the decision taken by the European Council and the execution of said accords," he said.
The statement said Cazeneuve as well as Italian European Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero backed this call.
The June accord paved the way for the eurozone's future €500 billion ($600 billion) bailout fund to recapitalise ailing banks directly, without adding to the national debts of struggling countries.
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Eurozone leaders have already approved exceptional loans of up to €100 billion for Spanish banks that have been destabilized by huge losses on risky property loans.
But with Spain's borrowing costs spiralling out of control, market fears are mounting that Madrid could soon require a full-blown international bailout.
The row over the alleged joint statement comes on the eve of a meeting in Paris between Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos and his French counterpart Pierre Moscovici.
De Guindos was to meet with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin later on Tuesday.
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