ECONOMY

In Brief

French lawmaker warns Sarkozy on Greek rescue French taxpayers shouldn’t be punished for Greece’s mistakes and President Nicolas Sarkozy should be cautious about using their money to prop up a European partner, a lawmaker from Sarkozy’s ruling party said. «Countries are responsible for their own difficulties and it strikes me as abnormal that Greece should be able to transfer its difficulties to other members of the euro region,» Louis Guedon, a Union for a Popular Movement lawmaker who sits on the National Assembly’s Economic Affairs Commission, said in an interview in Paris. Germany and France, the two largest economies among the 16 nations sharing the euro, have increased pressure on Greece to put its public finances in order. They have offered nonspecific support for Greece as it seeks to finance a budget deficit of 12.7 percent of gross domestic product in the face of skeptical investors. (Bloomberg) Athens misses Brussels deadline due to strike Greece has missed a deadline from the European Commission to give a full account of financial operations allegedly used by Athens to hide the true extent of its budget deficit, officials said yesterday. Greek authorities had to hand over all the information on such schemes by Friday but have not yet done so, telling European Commission officials that the delay was due to a four-day strike at the country’s Finance Ministry. Eurostat, the European Commission’s data office, «has received some information, but not all the information needed from Greek authorities,» said a spokesman for the Commission, the EU’s executive arm. Brussels is hoping to receive the documents «very soon» as «this would be to the advantage of all parties concerned,» he said. (AFP) No comment 1 Greece plans to tighten the way it announces planned bond sales after being «hurt a lot» by a lack of control over communication, said Petros Christoudolou, head of the Public Debt Management Agency. «We will not have a round of talks with various people and give them various levels of information,» Christodoulou, who was appointed managing director of the agency last week, said in a telephone interview from Athens yesterday. «It has hurt the issuer and the market. We have lost control of the communication game.» Christodoulou declined to comment on a 10-year bond sale that the agency said in January would be held this month. (Bloomberg) No comment 2 Germany’s government said it couldn’t confirm reports it plans to clamp down on hedge funds to curtail speculation against the euro, saying no decisions have been taken on action to help Greece over its debt crisis. Hedge funds have broadened their attacks on Southern European countries and shifted their focus to Spain, prompting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to consider tougher regulation, Handelsblatt newspaper reported yesterday. Action may include limiting derivatives trading to transactions that serve an «economically sensible hedging purpose,» Handelsblatt cited Schaeuble as saying. The Finance Ministry «can’t confirm» the report, spokesman Martin Kreienbaum told a regular government briefing in Berlin. «No commitment has been made regarding specific instruments of aid,» he said, responding to a question whether a joint bond to aid Greece is being considered. (Bloomberg)