Reuters International

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel attends a news conference on the renewable energy act reform in Berlin, Germany June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

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BERLIN (Reuters) - A British vote to leave the European Union would make all of Europe seem like a less reliable partner, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said during a German-Polish business forum on Thursday.

Gabriel said Germany hoped Britons voted in a June 23 referendum to stay in the bloc, adding that a British exit would fundamentally change the way Europe was perceived. If Britain left the EU, Europe would be seen as "a continent that cannot really be relied upon," Gabriel said.

The minister said the European Union's global importance would be diminished if it did not remain unified.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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