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Macron and Sigmar call for EU reform

The French and German economy ministers, in a joint statement to be published in newspapers today, have called for a strengthened Eurozone with a common budgetary mechanism to avoid the kind of debt problems Greece is suffering.

In an article published by the Guardian, Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel comment that 10 years after the French “no” to the constitutional referendum, “now is the time to reopen the economic and political debate, and to fix the Eurozone as part of a greater deal for a union in which all member states find their place.”[1]

The French and German Ministers stressed that it is their particular responsibility to “straighten what is crooked,” by way of strengthening the Eurozone through the EU’s biggest reform. This would primarily focus on mending the critical flaws in the architecture of monetary union, so that the euro fulfils its promise of economic prosperity.

Macron and Gabriel have cited that this is to be achieved by launching an economic and social union, “by agreeing on a new, staged process of convergence that would involve not only structural reforms (such as labour or the business environment) and institutional reforms (i.e. economic governance) but also social and tax convergence where necessary. According to the French and German Ministers, this would strengthen individual economies, establishing a level playing field across the Eurozone by avoiding uncooperative fiscal devaluation.

The call has come as Greece’s Eurozone partners and its creditors in the EU, and the International Monetary Fund seek a deal on Friday, when Athens must repay €300 million to the IMF as part of a multi-million euro bailout deal.

It also comes as prime Minister David Cameron seeks EU reforms in order to secure a better deal for Britain.

[1] Emmanuel Macron & Sigmar Gabriel, www.theguardian.com