Macron, Merkel vow new momentum for Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin

London's Evening Standard reports the remarks of a close advisor to Macron, who makes explicit the future dynamic he expects to come from the French and German leaders.

Merkel on Monday said at a joint press conference with Macron that she was even prepared to consider the long-taboo option of European Union treaty change "if it makes sense".

The 28-nation European Union faces complex divorce proceedings with Britain, its current No. 2 economy.

She also made her most positive comments yet about eurozone reforms mooted by Mr Macron, saying it may be possible to change European Union treaties as would be required to enact them.

"There is clearly the will to encourage Macron, if only because with him in office, we have escaped the worst, that is the election of (far-right Front National leader) Marine Le Pen", said Claire Demesmay at the German Foreign Policy Institute in Berlin.

At the press conference with Merkel, he said he would have a "heavy task", but that his agenda would be to reach economic, social and education reforms.

It's a delicate balancing act, as Macron tries to redesign French politics by borrowing ministers from left and right and new faces.

Merkel, receiving her fourth French president since taking office nearly 12 years ago, told the freshly elected Macron that Germany would be willing to consider changing European Union treaties if necessary.

The meeting's warm tone reflected rising hopes in Germany that Mr. Macron may be able to deliver what officials in Berlin have long demanded: a convincing overhaul of France's tightly regulated economy that would jump-start growth in the eurozone's second-largest economy.

As for Brexit, with divorce talks expected to begin shortly after June 8th elections in Britain, it is unlikely that will be much of a brake on the Merkel-Macron duo, analysts said.

Macron also declared there needs to be "a Europe that protects our citizens better". "That is the goal of the joint road map we are working on". Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, called Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job". He is a member of the Republicans, a mainstream-right party whose candidate Macron beat in the first round of the election.

While some in the Republicans fumed at Philippe's appointment, seeing it as a betrayal on his part, others welcomed it and urged the parties to accept Macron's "outstretched hand".

Merkel said they had "a common understanding that we can't just focus on Britain leaving the European Union".

A day after his inauguration the fervently pro-EU Macron made his first trip overseas, visiting Germany, the other half of the power couple driving European integration. "I have never favored mutualizing existing debt".

The delay was to allow checks to be made on their tax status "whereas the law stipulates that this check only needs to be done after they are named", the presidency said.

"I will always be a frank, direct and constructive partner, because I think the success of our two countries is deeply linked, and that the whole success of Europe depends on that", Macron said.



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