Changing EU treaty 'not taboo' for France anymore - Macron after meeting Merkel


Merkel said: "From a German point of view, it is possible to change treaties if it makes sense in order to strengthen the eurozone".

Other member nations may be nervous at Mrs Merkel's agreement to Mr Macron's call for a joint "road map" on the future of the European Union, although reviving the Franco-German engine is a traditional pledge of incoming presidents and few concrete areas of agreement were clarified.

This year, unemployment in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, should be around 4.0 percent, compared with 9.9 percent in France, according to the latest European Commission forecasts.

"Germany will only do well in the long-term if Europe does well and Europe will only do well if there is a strong France.", said Angela Merkel the German Chancellor.

"We are ready for institutional reforms and new agreements", Macron added.

Macron is also working Tuesday to form a government after naming low-profile, center-right Edouard Philippe as prime minister.

"We have a long road until the election and it will be rocky and hard", Schulz said after his SPD fell behind the CDU in North Rhine Westphalia.

After his meeting with Merkel, Macron stressed that he was not in favour of eurobonds - loans underwritten by all members of the eurozone, which some conservative German politicians have described as a vision of "hell" for their voters.

Macron said France and Germany had come "at a historic moment in their history" and both have a responsibility to fight against populism and restore faith in the European project.

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Mr Macron sought to bat away German fears on debt, saying he was opposed to mutualising "old debt" between eurozone countries.

Underlining the concerns over Mr Macron's proposals, Germany's biggest selling daily Bild warned ahead of the French leader's meeting with Dr Merkel that before seeking deeper European Union integration, "France must once again be at the same level as Germany politically and economically".

As a candidate, Mr Macron called for a "new Franco-German deal" that would involve "much more structured co-operation" on investment, on European border security and on defence.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Mrs Merkel said.

"There are several areas in which we can cooperate in the short term", he added "Common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade".

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

EU integration supporters in the two countries were emboldened recently, as Macron defeated the rightist opponent Marine Le Pen, while Merkel's pro-EU Christian Democratic Union (CDU) stood firm during three state elections in a row.

Some French political reporters said the president's office called their outlets to designate the journalists who would be able to cover Macron's first trip outside Europe, scheduled in Mali on Friday.