Euro Crisis

German Finance Minister Pledges To Set Up European Banking Union "Quickly"

Made the comment during panel discussion with the French finance minister

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BERLIN-Germany's finance minister on Tuesday pledged to set up the planned banking union in Europe "quickly," describing it as an overriding priority in the bloc.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has in the past favored EU treaty change for the banking union, in order to split the ECB's supervisory and monetary tasks clearly. That would put the brakes on the plan, designed to strengthen the euro zone against banking crises that have threatened the currency union in recent years.

But he hinted Tuesday that existing treaties could suffice to set up a single system run by the European Central Bank that would use Europe's collective financial muscle to help weaker countries fix their banks.

Mr. Schaeuble made the comment during a panel discussion with his French counterpart Pierre Moscovici at Berlin's Free University.