Merkel's plans for the European Union: joint military force, common migrant asylum standards

Five-Stars Movement leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to supporters during a meeting in Naples Italy 29 May 2018
Five-Stars Movement leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to supporters during a meeting in Naples Italy 29 May 2018
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04 June, 2018

Macron wants a future EMF to act as a buffer in any future financial crises in the bloc, which was almost torn apart in a debt crisis in 2009.

"I am in favor of President Macron's proposal for an intervention initiative", the German chancellor told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

Merkel said the initiative "needs to fit into the structure of defense cooperation", which she said should bring down the number of different European Union weapon systems from 180 to "about 30".

"If the whole euro zone is in danger, the EMF must be able to grant long-term credit in order to help countries", Merkel told the FAS. Her comments were welcomed by the Social Democrats (SPD), junior coalition partners of her conservative bloc in a right-left coalition that took power earlier this year after an election in September. "Those are totally new notes from Mrs. Merkel".

She also said the EMF should be able to assess the debt sustainability of member states and "the instruments needed to restore this if necessary" - a nod to debt restructuring, which France opposes.

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Merkel said Europe needed "quicker economic convergence" but stopped short of Macron's vision of a major investment budget, saying, in euros, it should be "at the lower end of the double-digit billions" and only phased in gradually.

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.

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Merkel congratulated Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a phone call on Saturday and invited him for talks in Berlin, her office said.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's worldwide broadcaster, Conte, a little-known Italian law professor, has mostly kept quiet since being sworn in on June 1, but he announced on Facebook that, along with Merkel, he had also held talks with France's Emmanuel Macron on June 2. League leader Matteo Salvini, Italy's new interior minister, has said that Italians "aren't the slaves" of European Union powerhouses Germany and France.


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