Reuters International

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, July 1, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a magazine he was concerned that if Britain did not manage to put a government together in the autumn and instead called a new election this would hurt Britain and Europe.

"Further delays would not be desirable and would certainly be damaging, both for the Brits themselves and for us in Europe," he told the online version of Der Spiegel.

"Businesses and the City (London's financial centre) in Britain are already reacting very sensitively to the result of the referendum and I expect that would increase further if there are more delays," Steinmeier added.

British voters' decision in a June 23 referendum to quit the European Union has rocked global financial markets, thrown British politics into turmoil and raised concerns about the future prospects for the EU.

The two frontrunners in the race to replace David Cameron as British prime minister and leader of the their ruling Conservative Party, Theresa May and Michael Gove, have said they do not favour an early election in Britain.

Cameron, who had urged voters to vote to stay in the EU, has said he will stand down in the autumn after his successor has been chosen.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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