Merkel and Macron back creation of eurozone finance minister and budget

The pair of world leaders say the eurozone needs closer integration

Jon Stone
Europe Correspondent
Tuesday 29 August 2017 18:16 BST
The pair of world leaders at the G20 conference earlier this summer
The pair of world leaders at the G20 conference earlier this summer (Getty)

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have thrown their weight behind the creation of a new powerful eurozone finance minister post that would oversee economic policy across the bloc.

Speaking in Paris on Tuesday French president Mr Macron said that a “revamp” creating the new economy chief and a eurozone-wide budget were key to helping the bloc weather future crises.

The German Chancellor Ms Merkel, who is up for re-election next month, also separately backed deeper integration at her annual press conference in Berlin.

Ms Merkel said the new “economics and finance minister” role could provide “greater coherence” to economic policy across the bloc.

She also backed a plan for a European Monetary Fund that would redistribute money within the bloc to where it was needed.

“It could make us even more stable and allow us to show the world that we have all the mechanisms in our own portfolio of the euro zone to be able to react well to unexpected situations,” the Chancellor said.

She added: “I could also imagine an economy and finance minister”.

Back in July at a joint press conference in Paris the pair of world leaders said they agreed “that the eurozone must be stabilised and further developed”.

Ms Merkel has previously said that any major reforms would have to wait until after the German federal elections, which are taking place on 24 September, however.

The details of such plans are yet to be hammered out; Mr Macron has suggested the budget to be overseen by a eurozone parliament.

The Chancellor is expected to be comfortably returned to office, according to the latest opinion polls.

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