Merkel, Macron Meet to Plot Euro Zone Reform Road Map
The leaders of Germany and France meet on Thursday to try to work out a common position on reforming the euro zone, a sensitive issue that is testing the new government in Berlin just a month after it took office, Reuters reports.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosts President Emmanuel Macron for the working meeting, is under pressure from her conservative bloc in parliament not to agree to any reforms that result in German taxpayers funding what they see as profligate euro zone peers.
Macron’s vision includes turning Europe’s existing bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund (EMF), to act as a buffer in any future financial crisis in the bloc.
He has also suggested the euro zone have its own finance minister and, at one point, floated the idea of a budget for the currency bloc worth hundreds of billions of euros.
“We have lots of institutions, why another one?” asked Ralph Brinkhaus, deputy leader of Merkel’s conservative bloc in parliament and a budget expert.
“And on the euro zone budget, why should the euro zone, in addition to the European Union, have an extra budget?” he told broadcaster ARD. “Why something else again?”
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