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Germany pushing for faster reform in euro zone: magazine

The EU and the German national flag are set up atop the Reichstag building, seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin
The EU and the German national flag are set up atop the Reichstag building, seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany wants further reforms and savings in crisis-hit euro zone states, according to a report obtained by German magazine Spiegel in which Berlin evaluates progress made under strengthened EU budget rules.

The rules have managed to spur in all euro zone countries a "general political mobilization towards structural reforms and greater competitiveness", Spiegel cited the report as saying in its edition published on Sunday.

However, in Italy there remained "further room for labor market liberalization", while in Greece and Spain further reforms to overcome rigid labor laws were "essential".

In order to improve its finances, France had increased its revenue intake, but also needed to cut spending, the report, prepared by Chancellor Angela Merkel's office continued.

Reforms take time, it acknowledged, but faster progress was necessary.

Chancellor Merkel's office declined to comment.

A source close to the government said Berlin's position had not changed and it remained convinced that the key to overcoming Europe's challenges lay in euro zone member states reforming and consolidating, in order to secure their finances.

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Mark Potter)

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