BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s plan to build a closer European Union based on an expanded euro zone was largely in line with Germany’s vision for the bloc.
Schaeuble said that Juncker had discussed with Chancellor Angela Merkel his annual State of the EU speech in which he spoke of a vision of a post-2019 EU where some 30 countries would be using the euro.
The plan also includes appointing an EU finance minister running key budgets to help states in trouble.
“It is good that he is putting pressure (to expand the euro zone) but the preconditions (for joining the euro zone) must be fulfilled,” Schaeuble told the ARD broadcaster in an interview.
“It is in fact so that EU countries who fulfill the preconditions become members of the euro under the Lisbon Treaty”.
He added that EU countries wishing to adopt the single currency should not do so before their public finances and economies are sound enough as they could face the fate of Greece, which had to be bailed out by the EU and IMF in 2010.
(The story adds dropped word in final paragraph)
Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Toby Chopra