Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Merkel says Germany, France plan to closely cooperate in critical times

Merkel says Germany, France plan to closely cooperate in critical times

France's new President Macron urges major reforms in EU; German Chancellor Merkel says Berlin open to EU treaty change.

Travelling to the German capital to meet the veteran leader in his first official trip overseas, Mr Macron used the opportunity to call for a "historic reconstruction" of Europe.

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

"Europe can only prosper when France and Germany prosper", she noted.

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.

France's United Kingdom ambassador, Sylvie Bermann added Mr Macron wants the "reconstruction of Europe" and will work alongside Germany to achieve that.

The German leader added that Berlin and Paris also agreed to develop a joint "road map" on the mid-term prospects for the European Union, APA reports quoting sputniknews.

As for Brexit, with divorce talks expected to begin shortly after June 8 elections in Britain, it is unlikely that will be much of a brake on the Merkel-Macron duo, analysts said. The government is led by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, a conservative. French President, Emmanuel Macron, 2nd right, attends a cabinet meeting with Justice minister Francois Bayrou, right, Foreign Affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, center, Economy minister Bruno Le Maire and Budget minist.

US slaps sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court judges
Among those targeted is Maikel Moreno, the president of the pro-government Supreme Court, which issued a ruling in late March. The de facto annulment of the congress drew widespread worldwide condemnation, and the decision was later partially reversed.

Macron's staff had initially said the government would be named late Tuesday but the presidential palace now says in a statement the announcement will come Wednesday afternoon.

"I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualization of existing debt in the eurozone", he said.

The French president underlined that he would focus on implementing economic and social reforms in France in the coming months.

Macron also pointed out that there were "several areas" in which Paris and Berlin could start cooperating immediately, including on a "common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade".

The president's staff told some media organizations they were trying to give access to journalists with backgrounds covering the topic or theme of a visit, rather than only to political correspondents.

The French President also called for a "less bureaucratic" European Union that "better protects" its citizens, and he categorically ruled out the so-called "eurobonds " n a proposal launched during the Eurozone crisis that would consist of combining debts among countries sharing the common currency, something to which Berlin is vehemently opposed.

Back in Paris, there was some unhappiness among Socialists, many who had flocked to Macron's side to thwart Marine le Pen, with his choice of the right-wing Philippe.

Mr Macron is the conservative Mrs Merkel's fourth French president in almost 12 years as chancellor.

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