Germany wants EU financial watchdogs
(BERLIN) - Germany wants expert watchdogs to oversee public spending by members of the European Union to prevent future Greek-like near-bankrupcy scenarios, Spiegel magazine said in its latest edition out Monday.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is suggesting that independent expert commissions be set up at both national and European level to do so, Spiegel said citing an internal ministry document.
The commissions would be tasked with providing early warning of "abnormal developments" likely to spark a financial crisis.
Germany has been called upon to provide the lion's share of EU funds to shore up debt-ridden fellow members states, such as Greece.
Experts would also "check on conformity between national financial policies and European rules", according to the document.
Sources close to the minister told Spiegel Schaeuble also wanted to boost the powers of the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs who would be charged with ensuring that EU rules are implemented "without possible opposition by other commissioners or by the commission's president".
Schaeuble has recently been tipped as a possible candidate for that commissioner's job.
Twenty-five of the EU's 27 members signed a budgetary pact in March to reinforce financial discipline in a bid to avoid any repeat of the financial crisis.
The pact -- which Britain and the Czech Republic refused to join -- allows for near-automatic sanctions in case of public over-spending.
Ireland will decide in a referendum on May 31 whether to join the pact.
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