Merkel rules out eased eurozone spending rules to help Macron

Stefan Wagstyl, Arthur Beesley and Duncan Robinson, Financial Times, 08.05.2017

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Angela Merkel has dismissed the idea of helping Emmanuel Macron by relaxing eurozone spending rules, quickly putting the onus on France’s next president to implement economic reforms after his election win.

A day after Mr Macron scored a decisive victory in France’s presidential election, the German chancellor, the most powerful national leader in Europe, said she wanted to help France but said: “German support cannot replace French policymaking.” [...]

Observers in Brussels said the president-elect must be able to show rapid progress on his domestic agenda to reinforce his credentials in Berlin.

“If you see it now from the German perspective, there’s huge relief in Berlin that he became president but there still is a certain degree of fear that he won’t be able to reform his own country,” said Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre think-tank in Brussels.

The French leader would have to show progress by the time a new German government is in place at the end of the year, Mr Emmanouilidis said. [...]

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