Finance

Bruno Le Maire defends Frances aim for ambitious eurozone reform

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire responded today to Chancellor Angela Merkels ideas for reforming the eurozone, calling for greater unity and ambition in a speech in Berlin.

Merkel said that while Germany is in favor of greater financial contribution and more risk-sharing, it is not getting behind a full-fledged fiscal union, in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday.

Speaking at the Foundation for Family Business, Le Maire said Germany and France “share the same diagnosis on the need to reform the euro area to make it a real economic and monetary union,” but that the two nations still have “some way to go to build an ambitious and proactive common position.”

The eurozone needs mechanisms that “provide us with the means to quickly converge the economies of the euro area and to cope in a simple and effective way to a crisis,” Le Maire stated.

“Building European solidarity does not mean accepting stowaways within the eurozone. Solidarity means the ability to pull towards economic performance all the states that have decided to link their monetary destinies and therefore to renounce the facility of competitiveness through devaluation,” the minister argued.

The minister said France plans to “continue the work that we started” in negotiations with Germanys Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and said negotiations are set to resume between the two countries on Saturday.

“I am convinced that they will enable us to reach a common roadmap for the euro area by the end of the month,” Le Maire said.

Le Maire also sought to justify why the eurozone should have its own budget, arguing that “monetary policy cannot do everything.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly called for far-reaching reforms since his election into office last year.

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