German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the March 2013 EU Summit

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The first day of a lacklustre EU summit dedicated to economic issues ended last evening (14 March) with France and Italy winning support for a slightly more growth-friendly interpretation of European Union budget rules.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was careful to avoid any ideological clash, telling reporters: "We made clear in a very consensual discussion that budget consolidation, structural reforms and growth are not in contradiction but are mutually reinforcing."

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