Macron, Merkel pledge common roadmap on eurozone reforms

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Paris, March 17 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel have pledged to come out with a common ground on eurozone reforms by June this year.

“For many years, Europe has waited for the Franco-German couple to move forward and make proposals. We are ready to do that,” Macron told reporters on Friday, Xinhua reported.

“We’ll propose a clear, ambitious roadmap for this overhaul by June.”

French President noted that a European context which has been deeply shaken since the Brexit and Italian election increased pressure on the Europe’s two leading powers to realize a joint project involving better economic and monetary integration, common policy to handle migrants flows and cement defence cooperation.

In a joint press meeting, Merkel, who was in her Paris visit since she was re-elected German chancellor, stressed that “it is more necessary than ever to move forward together. Europe must act in a context where the multinational is increasingly threatened”.

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“Efforts are always successful when we work hand in hand. We may not always share the same opinion. But in history, France and Germany have already done a lot. You have a very strong will, we have too,” she added.

Leaders of Europe’s main powerhouses have repeatedly pleaded for new start of Europe but they are still working to bridge divergences on how to realized the bloc’s renewal.

According to a statement issued by German Chancellery on Friday, the two leaders during their meeting also exchanged views on the European Council set for next week. Among other things, the budget for the legislative period after the Brexit and the elections of the European Parliament in 2019 were also discussed.

Merkel traditionally chooses Paris as her first destination after her re-election. The meeting with Macron is an expression of the close ties between both countries, according to the statement.

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German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz accompanied Merkel in the visit to Paris and exchanged views with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire at the same time.

Macron called for ambitious reforms of EU institutions in September last year, and was waiting for the response from Germany.

–IANS

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