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Merkel Woos German States to Back Fiscal Pact, Spiegel Says

Chancellor Angela Merkel is offering federal aid to Germany’s states in a bid to win their parliamentary support for the European Union’s fiscal pact, Der Spiegel reported, without saying how it got the information.

Merkel proposed this month that the federal government pick up all of any fine that’s due if Germany’s total public deficit exceeds limits set in the pact, the magazine said today. The federal government normally pays just 65 percent of such fines with the rest falling to the states.

Merkel lacks a majority in the upper house of parliament, or Bundesrat, which groups delegates of Germany’s 16 states. Two-thirds majorities in both houses are needed for Germany to ratify the fiscal pact.

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