Merkel, Macron plan roadmap by June on euro zone reform

Addis Ababa, March 17, 2018 (FBC) -French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday pledged to overcome differences in order to formulate a roadmap for a reform of the euro zone which they will seek to get approved by their European peers in June.

Merkel, who was narrowly re-elected to a fourth term as chancellor, wants to fulfill her incoming government’s pledge to deliver a “new start” for Europe. Macron, too, has made euro zone overhaul a central goal since taking power last May.

However, members of Merkel’s conservative bloc are wary of more comprehensive European integration, especially if it means that Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, would be pooling risks and debts with other, less financially stable countries.

“We are not always on the same page. But Germany and France have also achieved a lot in the past and now we have the firm intention to do that again,” Merkel said as she met Macron for the first time since she formed a new coalition government.

The goal of the reform push has to be to stabilize the 19-country euro zone and improve its competitiveness of the single currency bloc, Merkel said, adding that it must also provide for more convergence on asylum policies.

“We’ll put forward a clear, ambitious roadmap by June for this overhaul,” Macron said, adding that the plan should also address further integration of the bloc on migration, defense and trade.

The roadmap will also touch on the banking union, budgetary issues, Europe’s Stability Mechanism and tax convergence, a source in Macron’s office said.

Source: Reuters

Posted by Amare Asrat