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Sweden PM Opposes Merkel Competitiveness Idea

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01/27/2013 | 10:56pm EST

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt opposes a suggestion from Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel to improve competitiveness, because it would give more national powers to the European Union, German daily Handelsblatt reported Monday.

Ms. Merkel, the newspaper said, suggested E.U. states make agreements with the E.U. Commission on reforms involving labor costs, research and development spending, infrastructure expansion and public sector efficiency.

Mr. Reinfeldt said such measures should be voluntary.

"Sweden rejects handing over more powers to Brussels," he told the newspaper.

He also said he favors the U.K. remaining in the E.U., and that he understands Prime Minister David Cameron's call for the devolution of powers back to national governments, the newspaper reported.

Write to Dennis Baker at dennis.baker@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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