Small states squabble over euro zone's future

August 18, 2012 03:31

VIENNA/HELSINKI - Smaller euro zone countries that have retained top credit ratings through the region's crisis squabbled on Friday over whether struggling nations like Greece that threaten the currency union's stability should be kicked out.

Top Austrian and Finnish politicians insisted they were committed to keeping the union intact after ministers from junior coalition parties said they were preparing for a break-up of the bloc, or called for countries that broke promises to be thrown out.

The mixed messages contrasted with a show of solidarity late on Thursday from western Europe's most powerful politician, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which raised investor hopes that the bloc might finally be getting a grip on its problems.

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