Party in German gov't talks backs off eurozone fund demand

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles as she arrives for talks about a potential coalition between her Christian Democrats, the Free Democratic party FDP and the Greens in Berlin Friday, Nov. 20, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

Michael Kappeler

BERLIN (AP) — A party in talks on joining Germany's new government is backing off a call to phase out the eurozone's rescue fund.

The pro-business Free Democrats, along with the Greens, would join Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in government if ongoing talks following Germany's September election succeed.

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They have taken a tough stance toward eurozone strugglers, calling in their pre-election program for the lending capacity of the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund to be gradually reduced and for it to phased out in the long term.

The Free Democrats' leader, Christian Lindner, was quoted Friday as telling weekly Der Spiegel that a party which polled around 11 percent can't "dictate" the way ahead to all of Europe.

Lindner said that "if the ESM stays, it could become an instrument for more discipline."

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