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Macron Rejects Sharing Euro Debt, Pledges EU Reforms With Merkel

Macron Rejects Sharing Euro Debt, Pledges EU Reforms With Merkel

But she also made clear that treaty changes were not a topic immediately on the table.

"We can give the entire [European] construct a new dynamic", Merkel said, adding Europe could only progress with a "strong France" within.

The draft is expected to be approved by the SPD's party leadership next week and is likely to be adopted at a party congress on June 25.

Speaking at the side of French President Emmanuel Macron, Merkel said Monday that European countries must not think that the union should never make treaty changes.

Edouard Philippe, 46, a lawmaker and mayor of the port city of Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main centre-right party, The Republicans, and will provide a counterweight to former Socialist members of parliament who have joined Mr Macron's cause.

It will no longer be the case", said the French president, who earlier arrived at the chancellery to cheers from a crowd chanting "Macron!

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

Merkel said that she would be "ready" to the change the European Union treaties "if it is useful", and insisted that the European Union would be "vulnerable" if it refused to amend its existing rules.

"If the prime minister comes from the right, Emmanuel Macron will be able to attack the parliamentary elections by dynamiting the right, in the same way he has done to the left", political expert Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet told AFP.

Ms. Merkel and her government have always been skeptical of proposals to pool more resources, believing that sharing eurozone money could let countries off the hook when it comes to balancing their budgets and making necessary reforms.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Merkel said.

In his inaugural address, Macron vowed to restore France's place in Europe and the world.

Mr. Macron also called on the European Union to toughen its policies against countries that flout the rules of global trade.

Germany, which has Europe's biggest economy, has vehemently opposed taking direct responsibility for weaker eurozone countries' debts.

But the proposals have sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin, and initial relief about his victory against far-right leader Marine Le Pen have also given way to fears about his reform plans.

On Macron's first official visit to Berlin just 24 hours after being inaugurated, both leaders on Monday expressed their commitment to do everything they can to improve the rapport between the two capitals to, in Macron's words, achieve an "historic new foundation" for the EU, Efe news reported.

France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, has called for a "historic reconstruction" of Europe, saying it is "the only reaction" to fight populism.

The EU, she said, must become more agile in its procedures and most decisive in its actions. Germany, which has Europe's largest economy, has always opposed taking direct responsibility for weaker European Union countries' debts.


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