Published: Sun, May 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Merkel Shows Willingness to Join France in Bolstering EU

Merkel Shows Willingness to Join France in Bolstering EU

Macron met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, a day after his inauguration, to draw up a roadmap to deeper European Union integration.

"The elections in the Netherlands and in France have made us aware what a treasure we have with Europe", Merkel said during a press conference with Macron on Monday.

The French president pointed out that "without Europe, there will be no peace, prosperity and freedom".

FRANCE'S centrist President Emmanuel Macron named his government on Wednesday, appointing a mix of political hues to the top jobs as part of his promise to bridge the right-left divide.

The visit to Berlin continued a tradition of French presidents making their first foreign trip to Germany.

Merkel said at an event with worldwide labor union officials in Berlin that "if the British government says that free movement of people is no longer valid, that will have its price in relations with Britain".

In a move that will no doubt please Germany, Macron also announced the appointment of Édouard Philippe as his prime minister on Monday.

Macron previously met Merkel in Berlin in March while still a candidate and called for a "new Franco-German deal" that would see "much more structured cooperation" on the countries' investment, European Union border security and defense.

"That is going to be easier said than done, it appears, with U.S. production running at its fastest pace since August 2015 and data, yesterday, confirming that Chinese growth momentum continues to moderate", ANZ strategists wrote in a daily note.

Having been economy minister under his predecessor as president, Socialist Francois Hollande, Macron was accused by his critics of being too left-wing during the vicious election campaign.

The first cabinet meeting will take place on Thursday.

Macron, who defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen on May 7 to become the country's youngest president ever, is hoping to sink France's traditional parties as he seeks to redraw the political map.

His push for reforms aimed at combating unemployment in the country comes "not because Europe requests it, but because France needs it", Macron said.

Macron's party announced a list of 428 candidates, a lot of them political unknowns, last Thursday to fight the parliamentary elections.

German politicians are reaching out to migrants from Russian Federation in an effort to tap what's seen as a long-neglected group of voters as Germany gears up for its general election.

She also made her most positive comments yet about eurozone reforms mooted by Mr Macron, saying it may be possible to change European Union treaties as would be required to enact them.

That conspired with doubts over Trump's economic policy and a run of weak data to dampen expectations of a rate hike from the world's biggest economy next month.

But Merkel left the door open, saying that "from the German point of view, it's possible to change the treaty if it makes sense", while Macron also said that there was "no taboo" in addressing the issue.

On the subject of debt, he added: "I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualisation of existing debt in the euro zone".

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