The results of today’s meeting of the French-German Council of Ministers are commented by Sven Giegold, economic and financial policy spokesperson for the Greens / EFA Group in the European Parliament:
“The French-German engine sutters right after restart. Merkel and Macron have not seriously tackled any of the controversial issues. There was no progress with the most urgent open topics in the Eurozone. This is a disappointing result for such a high-profile French-German meeting. Merkel and Macron put in danger the new pro-European tendency of many citizens if they do not present precise reforms soon. Macron’s presidency is an opportunity for Europe which Germany may not block.
Merkel’s proposal to deepen the Eurozone around the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) leads to less democracy in Europe. Strengthening the ESM would weaken European democracy, since the ESM is in the hands of the national governments. While Helmut Kohl wanted a political union, Merkel is now pushing forward the democratically deficient ESM.
Germany and France lacked the courage to push forward a strong reform project, such as the Euro Finance Minister. Progress is an urgency for this project: the job description for the Euro Finance Minister should be ready when the Eurogroup’s top job will get vacancant in January 2018. The silence of Merkel and Macron regarding the subject of a financial transaction tax is embarrassing: Germany hides its lack of will to act for a Financial Transaction Tax behind the concerns of Macron. Vice versa, Merkel is silent on trade policy which Macron intends to make more social. With this low spirit, Germany and France will not push for reforms in Europe.”
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