Poland warns of possible two-tiered EU

June 10, 2010 at 2:05 PM
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BRUSSELS, June 10 (UPI) -- Efforts to step up economic coordination after Greece's debt crisis should go beyond the countries sharing the euro, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said.

Tusk said countries outside the eurozone -- a group of nations using the euro as their sole legal tender -- should be treated in an equal manner, EUobserver.com reported Thursday.

"As a country that is aspiring to join the eurozone, we would like the eurozone to be a leader but not an exclusive elite within the European Union," Tusk told reporters in Brussels after a Polish delegation met with senior EU officials to prepare for Poland's turn as EU president later this year.

The situation created by Greece's debt crisis will be discussed at a European Summit in Brussels next week.

Tusk was speaking about a French proposal for more cohesion in eurozone decision-making through regular meetings of eurozone leaders and a new secretary in Brussels, where EU and European Commission offices are based. Germany also has expressed concern about the proposal, saying it feared increased economic decision-making by eurozone leaders could negatively impact the European Central Bank's independence.

"It's very important that the European Commission stands up for equal standards for all EU member states," Tusk said. "We want a united Europe that can take actions in solidarity for the benefit of the EU as a whole."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also has voiced opposition to a eurozone "economic government" aided by a secretariat, saying the creation of new institutions would merely add greater confusion to the current situation.

"The general framework should be the same for the eurozone as for the non-eurozone countries. We can't have a split in the EU," Barroso said.

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