German minister didn't question EU fiscal rules in France - aide

BERLIN, June 16 Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:28am EDT

BERLIN, June 16 (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel was not casting doubt on the importance of European Union fiscal rules when he said in a visit to France on Monday that reform costs should be taken into account when calculating states' deficit levels, an aide said.

"Sigmar Gabriel by no means questioned the Stability and Growth Pact in Toulouse," said a spokesman for Gabriel, who as the head of the Social Democrats (SPD) is deputy chancellor to Angela Merkel in the German coalition government.

"Like many others before him, he was merely pointing out that some states could be granted more time to reduce their deficits if they carry out concrete reforms," said Gabriel's spokesman in a statement. (Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Stephen Brown)

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