Europe must prevent political chaos: Macron

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Berlin, Nov 19 (IANS) France’s President Emmanuel Macron has called for closer ties between Paris and Germany, saying Europe “has the obligation not to let the world slip into chaos”.

France and Germany were expected to unveil plans for a limited joint eurozone budget on Monday aiming at a more integrated zone, the BBC reported.

Macron has also urged Germany’s backing for a European Army, which he has said would reduce the bloc’s dependence on the US, and a new tax on internet tech giants.

He was here for the country’s annual day of mourning for victims of war and in his speech to Germany’s parliament, said Europe must not “become a plaything of great powers”.

They were set to discuss migration, defence co-operation and tax structures for digital companies

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed tentative support for some of these ideas.

The French President spoke of nationalist forces “with no memory”, and urged progressive forces to unite in an uncertain world.

“There are too many powers that wish to thwart us, that interfere in our public debates, attack our liberal democracies and are trying to pit us against each other,” he said.

“And in this global order, which we have to take very seriously, our strength – our true strength – lies in unity.”

US President Donald Trump had attacked Macron on Twitter last week when the French leader called nationalism a “betrayal of patriotism” while commemorating the end of World War I.

Merkel has welcomed his vision and accepted: “You said we are at a crossroads… and this is exactly what I perceive. Those of us born after the war are responsible for the lessons that we learned.”

She has led Germany for 13 years, and intends to serve out her fourth term which ends in 2021, but in-fighting within her party or the broader government coalition she leads, might not allow her.

–IANS

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