Germany proposes cost-neutral growth initiative
BERLIN — Germany is proposing a European growth initiative that includes structural reforms and a more efficient use of existing EU funds but no fresh stimulus money.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government recently embraced the idea of a separate growth initiative alongside the EU's new treaty enshrining fiscal discipline to help secure the opposition party support her center-right coalition needs to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament for the treaty's ratification.
The draft proposal also calls for the European Investment Bank's capital to be increased to boost its lending capacity for projects fostering growth.
But the largely cost-neutral proposal falls short of the German opposition's demands, including a program to fight high unemployment in southern Europe's struggling nations and a new financial transaction tax.
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