Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PM and Merkel's 'Shared Agenda' on EU

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PM and Merkel's 'Shared Agenda' on EU

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

ANGELA MERKEL and David Cameron staged a show of unity ahead of talks in Downing Street today by trumpeting a "common agenda" for EU reform.

Amid fears of an anti-austerity government being elected in Greece, the two leaders stressed the importance of "stability" and deficit reduction.

Hopes were high at No 10 that Mrs Merkel will offer Mr Cameron a compromise on immigration by backing proposals to reduce benefits for some new arrivals from within the EU.

However, Berlin made clear in advance that the German Chancellor will not give ground on Europe's free movement of labour rights.

"We meet to discuss key issues to advance our common agenda," the two leaders said in a statement today.

In what could be seen as a stern message that Greece will not be allowed to weaken bailout terms requiring it cut its debts, they emphasised the need for a "stable and competitive" Europe.

EU leaders fear radical Left-wing party Syriza will win power in Greece's election on January 25. …

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