• Countries still bear responsibility for key budget moves
  • Dijsselbloem says would be hard sell to boost central power

Euro-area nations still hold “the real responsibility” for budgets, social measures and other economic policies, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a European Parliament panel, as he called on countries to follow and to encourage public support for the bloc’s budget rules.

“The main problems in the euro zone have been caused by bad national policies” and not the euro area’s stability and growth pact, Dijsselbloem said Wednesday. “We don’t have the time to go into that now, but bilaterally, I will argue with you as long as you want.”

Nations are generally improving their compliance with fiscal rules and more central control might not help the European Union achieve its goals, Dijsselbloem said. “Shifting a lot of power from national parliaments to the European level could be detrimental to the whole project,” he said.

Dijsselbloem also urged nations to back a planned suite of corporate tax reforms, calling on governments to “accept the whole package and don’t start shopping” for select options.

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