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Worries grow over lack of eurozone cohesion

Sun 24th Jan 2010

Worry is growing at the European Union's executive branch that some countries' surging budget deficits could undermine the bloc's monetary union, a German magazine reported on Saturday.

Der Spiegel newsweekly quoted a draft report from the European Commissions's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs as saying the growing imbalances could put the common currency at risk.

"(The imbalances) weaken trust in the euro and endanger the cohesion of the monetary union," the magazine reported the draft report to Finance Ministers of euro zone countries as saying.

It went on to cite competitiveness gaps between euro zone member states as a factor that threatened the group as a whole.

European Central Bank policymaker Juergen Stark said in an interview released on Saturday that countries like Greece, which is battling to get its budget under control, must also reform its economy to make it more competitive.

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