Emmanuel Macron to Push Euro Plan into German Coalition Talks
Emmanuel Macron is planning to barge in on German coalition talks next week by detailing ambitious reforms for the eurozone, in an attempt to force Berlin to shift ground on its approach to the single currency, reported the Financial Times.
The French president intends to flesh out proposals for buttressing the euro — including a separate budget, a finance ministry and a European Monetary Fund — in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s election in Germany. He hopes to fuel public debate and force Angela Merkel and other German party leaders to take a stand on the plan during negotiations on forming the next federal government, aides said. At stake is the extent and pace of eurozone reform after a decade of crisis, austerity and, until recently, weak economic growth.
To sugar the pill for reluctant German politicians, Mr Macron is prepared to concede lengthy transition periods as long as the goals are accepted. For example, he would agree to a “phased approach” to his most radical plan — for a separate eurozone budget equal to several points of gross domestic product — “over five to 10 years”, said an adviser.
Mr Macron’s initiative, expected to take the form of a speech on the future of the EU on September 26, is intended to boost the chance of a political accord between Paris and Berlin on an overhaul by the end of the year. “It is important that our main partner in Europe knows exactly what we want as it is discussing its governing contract,” a French adviser said.
“They may actually want to know what their closest European partner wants earlier than later. The idea is to be precise and concrete.” Another French official admitted the French plans on the eurozone had not been discussed thoroughly by Paris and Berlin since Mr Macron’s election in May.
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