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Economist Rebuff PM's Suggestion of Multi-Tier Eurozone

Ljubljana, 07 May (STA) - One of the most respectful Slovenian economists has raised an objection against Prime Minister Borut Pahor's claim about the prospect of a multi-tier EU and eurozone.

"This is an inappropriate statement from a prime minister of a euro country in this sensitive moment when the entire eurozone is putting in substantial funds in a bid to stabilise the single currency," economist Mojmir Mrak told the STA on Friday.

His response comes after Pahor told reporters after Thursday's government session that the entire EU and the euro area were headed for multi-tier future, which was why it was important for Slovenia which group it would be in.

The prime minister pointed to different groupings being formed within the single currency area with the countries facing different problems and having different abilities to tackle them. Pahor said it was not under question that this would happen.

Slovenia is already negotiating a special partnership with one country, Pahor said, announcing that it would closely coordinate structural and other reforms with Germany, France and Benelux countries.

He said the group expected of Slovenia to meet the conditions that could rank it in the select group of the most powerful euro countries.

Pahor was to call for institutional reform of the eurozone at today's summit in Brussels, including setting up mechanisms to expel a member that seriously violates Stability and Growth Pact regulations.

Sources close to the EU say expelling a eurozone member or setting up a multi-tier euro area are extremely unlikely options.

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