No concessions to China for EFSF help: Sarkozy aide
Updated: 2011-11-01 07:36
French leader accused by political opponents of selling out Europe
PARIS - Europe will not offer China concessions in exchange for contributions to the eurozone's beefed-up bailout fund, an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.
Eurozone leaders agreed in Brussels last week that emerging nations, led by China, could put money in a special purpose vehicle within the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) fund to help increase its firepower.
Sarkozy, who has said that China will have a "major role to play" in resolving the eurozone's debt crisis, was accused over the weekend by political opponents at home of selling out Europe's future to foreign powers.
"It is out of the question to negotiate counterparties. If China comes, it's to invest in a fund that will play an important role in global stability," presidential adviser Henri Guaino told Europe 1 radio, adding that China's interest in helping Europe to resolve its debt crisis was a positive signal.
"It's a rather good sign, it shows that everyone really feels concerned and everyone wants to avoid a global catastrophe. I don't understand the criticisms we are hearing from all sides. It is absurd," he said.
Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup gathering of eurozone finance ministers, said on Sunday that it made sense for China to invest its surplus in Europe, but this would not involve political concessions. The appeal for Chinese help has come under fierce criticism for potentially weakening Europe's negotiating position in political and economic disputes with Beijing.
"The fact that China and others might be involved in a comprehensive solution does not make me worry in the slightest, because China has an improbably large surplus, so it makes sense for China to invest this in Europe," Juncker told German broadcaster ARD.
The prospect of China contributing to the EFSF was still subject to negotiation, while leaders would also discuss the option of emerging nations contributing through the International Monetary Fund at a G20 summit this week in Cannes.