France pushes for top posts in eurozone reshuffle

Arthur Beesley and Jim Brunsden, Financial Times, 08.08.2017

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Emmanuel Macron is seeking to increase France’s economic clout within the EU by securing top jobs for his compatriots, as the officials who steered the eurozone through the financial crisis depart the scene.

Paris has put down markers for two key jobs co-ordinating the eurogroup of finance ministers while campaigning for the creation of a post of eurozone finance minister — all part of Mr Macron’s push to reassert France’s economic policymaking role after years of subservience to Germany. [...]

But success for Mr Macron’s lobbying drive is far from guaranteed, with the eurozone divided between German-led countries that stress the need for fiscal discipline, and more southern states, notably France, that want greater sharing of risks.

“This personnel battle is a proxy for the policy battle to come,” said Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre think-tank in Brussels. “The German-Dutch-Finnish camp distrusts the other camp, but there’s even distrust within the camps.” [...]

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