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German liberals accuse Merkel of U-turn on euro zone rescues

BERLIN, Apr 21 (Reuters) Germany's liberal Free Democratic Party, a potential kingmaker after September's national election, ruled out joining any coalition that would provide a financial bail-out to another euro zone country without the participation of the International Monetary Fund.
The FDP leader, Christian Lindner, made the comments today after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said yesterday any new aid programme should not include the IMF, leaving it under European auspices.
Accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives of making a U-turn on euro zone rescues, Lindner opposed Schaeuble's idea of developing the euro zone's European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund into a European monetary fund.
"The FDP would not support such a policy," Lindner told reporters. "For us, it's an absolute condition that the independent expertise and the capital of the IMF continue to be an institutional part in future aid packages in Europe."
Lindner said a European version of the IMF would not be politically independent and a minority of stability-oriented euro zone countries, such as Germany, would be outvoted by a majority of fiscally lenient countries.
The business-friendly FDP was the junior partner in Merkel's 2009-13 conservative-led coalition. But it crashed out of parliament after failing to clear the 5 per cent threshold to win seats in the current lower house Bundestag.
Opinion polls suggest six party groups, including the FDP, will enter parliament after the September 24 election, up from four now. Neither Merkel's conservatives nor the SPD would be able to govern alone, opening the way for talks with smaller parties in their efforts to forge a stable coalition government.
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Saudi Arabia to host first fashion week in March

21 Feb 2018 | 7:49 PM

Dubai, Feb 21 (UNI) Saudi Arabia will host next month its first ever Arab Fashion Week, overturning its conservative policies on arts and entertainment.

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Coalition government in Sri Lanka to carry on

21 Feb 2018 | 7:10 PM

Colombo, Feb 21 (UNI) The National Unity government in Sri Lanka will continue, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced in Parliament on Wednesday, removing uncertainty over the future of the country's first postwar administration.

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UNESCO reiterates its commitment to promote language on Mother Language Day

21 Feb 2018 | 6:29 PM

By Mir Afroz Zaman
Dhaka, Feb 21 ( UNI) The UNESCO has marked the 19th International Mother Language Day with the reiteration of its commitment to defend and promote languages across the world.

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'Grades and test scores not going away soon'

21 Feb 2018 | 6:08 PM

New York, Feb 21 (UNI) The Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, Carol Dweck, says while grades and test scores are “not going away any time soon,” they do not tell us what students are capable of achieving in the future.

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Bangladesh, West Bengal celebrate Mother Language Day on border

21 Feb 2018 | 5:58 PM

By Mir Afroz Zaman
Dhaka, Feb 21 ( UNI) International Mother Language Day has emerged as a perfect occasion in Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal to leave behind difference and celebrate Bengali as a language that binds people from both sides.

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