Merkel voices support for Macron's proposed European defence force


Macron wants to turn Europe's existing bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund (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.

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Angela Merkel spoke with support the initiative. After months of dithering, the German chancellor came up with lukewarm compromises on nearly every issue, as she faces political balancing acts at home and overseas.

The euro zone needs an intergovernmental European Monetary Fund (EMF) able to give troubled member states shorter-term credit lines if they run into debt problems that threaten the whole bloc, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a newspaper interview on Sunday. The broad proposal appeared in the German coalition agreement signed last March.

"We need quicker economic convergence between the member states", she said.

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Mr Lange said he would like to see tariffs imposed on "symbolic" United States products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Mexico said it would impose tariffs on pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel coming from the U.S.

The chancellor backed an investment budget for the euro zone.

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. But many, especially in Germany, are promoting continued caution, to protect German savers and taxpayers from a potentially huge financial exposure. European leaders in Brussels, already anxious about Poland and Hungary, now worry a menace to European unity from inside its core.

She said that while solidarity among members of the single currency bloc was important, "solidarity among euro partners should never lead to a debt union, rather it must be about helping others to help themselves".

The chancellor called for the establishment of a European refugee agency that would handle requests for asylum, based on unified asylum law, on Europe's borders.

As for her comments on Macron's ideas, Merkel said she supports the idea of transforming the European Monetary Fund (EFF) rescue fund she supports its transformation into an Stabilization Monetary Fund with the power to provide short-term credit lines to member states in crisis due to the large your government debt.