Germany's Merkel to work with Italy's populist new govt

Daniel Fowler
June 4, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out a possible alleviation of Italy's credit burden and, in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, she explained that the principle of solidarity between Eurozone members should not transform the currency union into a debt-sharing instrument, Reuters, quoted by Focus.

An Italian governing coalition of two parties generally seen as hostile to the euro took power on Friday.

Merkel congratulated Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a phone call on Saturday and invited him for talks in Berlin, her office said.

Ms Merkel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung ahead of a crunch European Union summit this month that Germany as the eurozone's top economy would support an investment budget whose total would be "at the lower end of the double-digit billions of euros range".

"We aim to make ourselves a little more independent of the International Monetary Fund", she said.

"This is very pleasing", SPD leader Andrea Nahles told the ARD public broadcaster.

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Merkel said in Sunday's interview that she supports creating a European Monetary Fund - similar to the International Monetary Fund - that could help stabilize the eurozone by offering long- or short-term loans to member nations. "Those are totally new notes from Mrs. Merkel".

Reports say a major trading war is brewing between the United States and its closets allies after the imposition of new tariffs which could see USA consumers pay more for everything from canned soup to cars. He also called for a shared European military intervention force and defense budget.

Merkel backed the step-by-step introduction of a euro zone investment budget in the low double-digit billions of euros, saying this could be housed within the European Union budget or outside.

She said she views Macron's idea of a joint intervention force "positively", but that many details would have to be worked out.

Conte, a little-known 53-year-old law professor, was sworn in on Friday, ending three months of political deadlock in the wake of inconclusive March 4 elections.

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