June 4, 2015 / 7:02 AM / 2 years ago

Ex-German foreign minister Fischer warns UK's Cameron over EU reform

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron should not get carried away with apparent German support for his bid to reform the European Union, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer warned on Thursday.

The EU and the Union flags fly outside The European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom in central London January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

After winning a national election last month, Cameron plans to renegotiate Britain’s ties with the EU before holding a referendum on the country’s membership of the bloc by the end of 2017.

His diplomatic bid to win support for reforms started last week with a tour of European capitals. The headline leg of that trip was a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, in which she said she would work with Cameron to strike a deal. Her support was welcomed by British officials.

But, Fischer, who also served as Germany’s vice chancellor before leaving front line politics in 2005, sought to temper that optimism.

“Don’t lose yourself in wishful thinking,” he told the BBC. “Angela Merkel will do nothing which will endanger the basic principles of the common market, of the EU.”

He added that finding a solution to Greece’s financial problems within the eurozone would be Merkel’s top priority.

Reporting by William James; editing by Michael Holden

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