Merkel gives new push for eurozone reforms ahead of European Union summit

Ivan Schwartz
June 4, 2018

The leaders of Italy's right-wing League and the 5-Star Movement late on Thursday patched up their alliance after agreeing to substitute a eurosceptic they had initially proposed as economy minister but who was rejected by the head of state.

Merkel supported the idea of turning the euro zone's ESM rescue fund into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) with powers to give members hit by sovereign debt troubles short-term credit lines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will approach Italy's populist new government with an open mind and try to work with it "instead of speculating about its intentions".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated the creation of a European rapid reaction force, thus supporting the initiative of French President Emmanuele Makron.

Merkel refrained from outright criticism of Trump in her comments to the newspaper, but noted that the US has withdrawn from multilateral agreements and imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including from Europe. "Such loans would be spread over 30 years and be conditioned on sweeping structural reforms". "As such, we would be able to take under our wing countries that get into difficulties because of extraordinary circumstances". EMF should have the capacity to evaluate the economic situation in member states on its own.

Britain has already backed the deliberate drive, which is able to function independently of the European Union, regardless of misgivings that it could possibly be seen as a "European military".

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Merkel also called for European cooperation on migration and asylum programs.

The chancellor's office said in a statement that Merkel had congratulated Conte on becoming prime minister.

Conte, a little-known Italian law professor, has mostly kept quiet since being sworn in on Friday, but he announced on Facebook that, along with Merkel, he had also held talks with France's Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

Merkel said she was willing to discuss with the new Italian government ways to boost employment rates among young people in Italy.

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