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Merkel backs calls for budget control

BERLIN -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is endorsing a proposal for a top European Union official to be given the power to veto member countries' budgets, and is suggesting the bloc could set up a fund to finance projects in struggling countries.

Merkel addressed Germany's Parliament ahead of an EU summit starting Thursday.

Her finance minister argued this week the EU's monetary affairs commissioner should have the power to veto budgets if they violate deficit rules.

Merkel acknowledged many nations don't want to concede to Brussels the power to intervene in budgets. However, she said her government will "continue to push for it."

Merkel suggested countries could make binding pledges to conduct reforms and be granted money for specific projects from a new fund, possibly funded by a tax on financial transactions.