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Germany denies plans to review French economy

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15:20 CET+01:00
Germany's so-called "Five Wise Men" of independent economic advisors dismissed media reports Friday that they have been asked by the government to draw up economic reform proposals for France.

"The German Council of Economic Experts has not been commissioned to undertake such a thing. It would not be within the council's legal remit," a spokesman for the experts told AFP.

According to the daily Die Zeit in its online edition, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has asked the distinguished panel, which advises the government in economic matters, to examine possible reform proposals for France.

The newspaper did not reveal its sources.

In the 49 years of existence, the panel has never compiled a report on any other country but Germany.

Nevertheless, the panel's chief Wolfgang Franz told AFP: "This information is false."

"We submitted our twice-yearly economic report (to the government) on Wednesday and we had a discussion with Mr. Schäuble on the future development of monetary union," Franz said.

But he added: "We did not discuss France in particular. France is, obviously, a very important member of the European Union... but (Schäuble) didn't explicitly say anything" about France, he insisted.

France has the second biggest eurozone economy, after Germany, but tension between the two countries has increased since French President François Hollande's election in May.

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