With Trump tensions high, Merkel reaches out to Macron on Europe

Italy's Debt Burden       More than 600 billion euros of Italy's debt matures in the next three years.                      Source Bloomberg

She said the "rainy day fund", as it has been dubbed, would serve to help even out economic imbalances between richer and poorer European countries "which need to catch up in the areas of science, technology and innovation". "We can additionally open that initiative to a country like Great Britain", Merkel said.

Merkel said an EMF with such competences should assess not only the economic situation of member states but also the debt sustainability, and "have the appropriate instruments at its disposal to restore them if necessary". Merkel's intervention represents a significant change of tone.

Macron wants to turn Europe's existing bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund (EMF), to act as a buffer in any future financial crises in the bloc, which was almost torn apart in a debt crisis in 2009.

The Elysee Palace said in a statement that "Merkel is concerned about European sovereignty, including the issue of migration".

"I can imagine the possibility of a credit line that is short-term, five years for example".

As they try to set a road map for eurozone overhauls by the end of the month, Mr. Macron and Ms. Merkel plan to meet at the meeting of the Group of Seven leading nations in Canada on Friday and Saturday.

Merkel called for reform negotiations to be concluded before the 2019 European elections.

When receiving his European Charlemagne peace prize in Aachen last month, Macron had expressed impatience over delays in forming the Berlin coalition and Germany's "fetish" for budget and trade surpluses.

Crises roiling Europe have focused minds in recent days, with a populist and eurosceptic government taking power in Italy and Spain ousting veteran Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal and his Socialist arch-rival Pedro Sanchez taking over. It will help Europe to be viable at any time. She said she wanted to work with the new Italian government instead of speculating about its intentions.

He has called for a far bigger euro zone budget than Merkel spelled out in her FAS interview and urged Europe to become a bolder, more autonomous actor in defence, a shift that unsettles conflict-wary Germans.

The Chancellor embraced some of French President Emmanuel Macron's ideas for more solidarity in the euro zone and the broader European Union.

It added that there was also a convergence regarding reform of the currency union.

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