News ID: 216482
Published: 0302 GMT June 10, 2018

France, Germany still divided on EU reforms

France, Germany still divided on EU reforms

An official from the French government has indicated that his country and Germany are still at odds how they should proceed with reforms in the European Union’s united economic territory, known as the eurozone.

“We still have some work to do before being able to agree on a roadmap,” said the official on Sunday weeks before Germany and France are expected to make a joint statement on reforms proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The official further said that despite talks between finance ministers from the two countries in Paris on Saturday, differences still remained on key issues.

“We discussed all outstanding issues and made substantial progress, exchanging papers and talking throughout the night,” said the official.

The official said that Le Maire and Scholz will continue working together through video conferences  this week to narrow their differences ahead of the EU summit on June 27-28, Presstv reported.

A German Finance Ministry spokesman also echoed similar concerns about existing disputes between the two European powerhouses on how they should re-structure banking and financial regulations in the bloc. The official, however, admitted that progress had been made in talks between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire met with his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz, a day earlier.

“We have made significant progress with our French friends towards a reform proposal for the euro zone and we will continue our talks next week,” said the spokesman.

One key stumbling block in negotiations between the two countries is how they should avoid a situation in which tax payers in richer European countries should pay for more financial solidarity between members of the EU. Macron has called for such a solidarity whereby the EU could open special credit lines to help countries hit by financial troubles. Merkel, however, wants to prevent the EU from becoming a union in which liabilities are shared out.

Le Maire said in Berlin on Friday that Germany and France had “a way to go” to reach a truly ambitious common position on issues like euro zone investment budget as well as insurance systems that could make the euro zone more resilient to future economic shocks.

Resource: presstv
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