Merkel gives new push for eurozone reforms ahead of EU summit
More must be done to strengthen to the architecture of the eurozone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, giving a new push for reforms to the currency union ahead of an EU summit this month.
“For a successful economy we have to sustainably stabilize the euro. The existing instruments are not enough,” Merkel said in an interview with the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Sunday.
As leaders of the eurozone’s biggest economies, Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have promised that a joint roadmap for reforms will be presented at a Brussels summit on June 28 and 29.
Her proposed fixes include the completion of a long-sought banking union, a common European investment budget, and a European Monetary Fund (EMF) that would be developed from the bloc’s existing bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Macron supports those proposals but wants even greater integration of economic policymaking in the 19-member eurozone.
For example, he is calling for the creation a eurozone budget and a eurozone finance minister. Those plans have been met with hostility by Berlin, which is wary of ceding more fiscal powers.
Six years after the height of the eurozone debt crisis, Merkel said fixes should made to the bloc while it is stable and prosperous.
“After all, we now have a situation in the eurozone that did not exist for a long time. In all states, the economy is growing and is increasing employment.”
But Merkel was adamant that solidarity among eurozone countries should not lead to a “debt union.”
Italy’s new populist government has suggested it could ask the European Central Bank (ECB) to forgive 250 billion euros ($300 billion) of Italian public debt. The ECB has said that such a move would not comply with EU treaties.