Sectors | Tue May 8, 2012 11:35am BST

EU must balance growth and consolidation efforts -Rehn

BRUSSELS May 8 (Reuters) - European Union countries must strike a balance between efforts to boost growth and to consolidate public finances, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Tuesday.

"The debate of consolidation versus growth is a false debate. In the current economic situation of low growth and high debt there is no choice - we need to pursue both simultaneously," Rehn told a news briefing.

"Fiscal consolidation must be pursued in a growth-friendly and differentiated manner," he said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Luke Baker; editing by Rex Merrifield)