If Thursday’s election results weren’t enough to dampen British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s day, he received another scolding from his German counterpart.
Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed the U.K. for blocking the European Union’s efforts to enact alternative investments regulation, calling the lack of such rules a “scandal.”
Still, Merkel said the shape of reform should become clear over the next three weeks. There is a deadline later this month for the EU’s finance ministers to vote on the directive, which is also nearing a major vote in the European Parliament. Both bodies must approve the rules for them to become law.
While Merkel, who is facing a critical election of her own on Sunday, is right about the British blocking the rules—Brown in March prevented their adoption by finance ministers—she is likely to be mistaken if her fellow center-right party in the U.K. emerge as the winners. The Conservative Party has pledged to continue Brown’s line on the EU hedge fund rules.
As things stand, however, it is unclear that the Tories will be able to form a government, as they are likely to fall short of a majority in the British Parliament.