German and French ministers call for greater European economic integration

 
Ashley Kirk
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German chancellor Angela Merkel and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel attend the Germany parliament (Source: Getty)

German and French politicians have called for a eurozone treasury with a finance chief, tax-raising powers and pooled debt liabilities.

In an article published by the Guardian and other European newspapers, Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, and France's economics minister, Emmanuel Macron, call for greater integration of the eurozone.

The ministers, belonging to Europe's two biggest countries, wish to set up an "embryo euro area budget". Europe would have "fiscal capacity over and above national budgets", as well as standardised corporate taxes across the continent.

New powers for the Eurozone treasury would also include a single budget and a common monetary fund. They propose that European teenagers could spent a subsidised six months in another European country.

The ministers' write:

Strengthening the euro is not only about the eurozone itself. It cannot be isolated from a broader rethinking of the EU, not least because we need to be able to answer the key question: ‘what about the other member states?’

A stronger eurozone should be the core of a deepened EU. We need a simpler and more efficient Union, with more subsidiarity and a streamlined governance.

Our common goal shall be to render [it] unthinkable for any country rightfully in pursuit of its national interest to consider a future without Europe – or within a lesser Union.

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