Germany boosts UK hopes for EU reform

Germany boosts UK hopes for EU reform
File photo of Prime Minister David Cameron.

LONDON - Britain received a boost in its bid to renegotiate its position in the EU after German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday said any closer European integration must "guarantee fairness" for those outside the eurozone.

In a joint article with British counterpart George Osborne for the Financial Times, Schaeuble wrote: "As the euro area continues to integrate, it is important that countries outside the euro area are not at a systemic disadvantage in the EU."

The pair said any treaty change leading to closer integration of eurozone members must be based on reforms that provide a solid legal base and "guarantee fairness for those EU countries inside the single market but outside the single currency."

British Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to win support for reforms that would hand more powers to sovereign governments ahead of a in-out-referendum due to take place in 2017 if he wins next year's general election.

During recent visits to London, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was cool on Cameron's reform agenda and French President Francois Hollande said outright that treaty change was "not a priority".

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