Merkel says open to principle of reciprocity in trade policy

Angela Merkel
GETTYGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said she will use close cooperation with Emmanuel Macron
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20 May, 2017

Mr Macron wants to create a common eurozone budget, parliament and finance minister.

Macron added that he intends to back economic reforms in France, where Le Pen and his other opponents are seeking to bounce back in parliamentary elections slated for June 11 and 18.

In Berlin, Mr Macron declined to answer a question about his new prime minister, only saying the choice of Mr Philippe is part of the new political landscape he is promoting.

Macron's office says that the meeting, attended by the country's most senior military and security officials, focused on the operations of French armed forces overseas -mostly in Africa's Sahel region, Iraq and Syria.

France's new President Emmanuel Macron secured backing Monday from key ally Chancellor Angela Merkel for his bid to shake up Europe, despite scepticism in Berlin over his proposed reforms.

"We need lawmakers that are not complicit and defend the interests of the French and France".

In his new post, he will be assisting Economy Minister Bruno le Maire, a reform-minded conservative whose expertise on Europe and staunch defence of the Franco-German relationship will prove valuable as Macron pushes for closer European Union integration.

The monetary union must "be deepened" and "be made more resistant to potential crises", said Merkel, adding that a possible move in that direction could be a measure of fiscal harmonisation.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, an arch conservative who has come to personify Berlin's focus on fiscal rectitude, had suggested that Macron's idea of creating a budget and finance minister for the euro zone was unrealistic because it would require politically thorny changes to the European Union treaty.

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The head of France's main conservative party disowned his colleague Edouard Philippe on Tuesday for taking up the job of prime minister under centrist President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron said "treaty change long used to be a French taboo", but that this would change now that he was president.

When a new French president is elected, their first trip overseas is to Germany.

A large group of onlookers, some carrying European flags, stood outside the chancellery as Mr Macron arrived.

"First we need to work on what we want to change, and then if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we're prepared to do that", she said.

In addition, the rate of unemployment is estimated at close to 4 percent in Germany, less than half of the rate in France (9.9 percent).

After his meeting with Merkel, Macron stressed that he was not in favour of eurobonds - loans underwritten by all members of the eurozone, which some conservative German politicians have described as a vision of "hell" for their voters.

"What's interesting for Europe is how much Macron can revive the Franco-German relationship and make it the backbone of a new, successful European Union", Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London, said in an interview.


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