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

The Macron Trade       Falling political risk and better economic performance have boosted French stocks              Source Bloomberg

Macron has ambitious plans for European reforms but he can not go it alone, and the strength of the Berlin-Paris axis is an important gauge for how well things are going in Europe.

"If the whole euro zone is in danger, the EMF must be able to grant long-term credit in order to help countries", Merkel told the FAS.

The EU has been under pressure to show unity after US President Donald Trump's recent moves such as pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and imposing tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports, according to Reuters.

She proposed offering short-term credit lines to stricken countries, but maintained strict conditions for support: "always subject to special conditions of course, for a limited amount and with complete repayment".

Merkel said in the interview that she will approach the new government with an open mind and try to work with it "instead of speculating about its intentions". "As such, we would be able to take under our wing countries that get into difficulties because of extraordinary circumstances". "This is very pleasing", SPD leader Andrea Nahles told the ARD public broadcaster.




Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, declined to say whether Merkel and Draghi, an Italian, discussed the political situation in Italy or euro zone reform proposals during their meeting in Berlin. She also said the EMF would remain under the authority of euro-zone states, in effect giving national parliaments some say over its decisions. Lawmakers from Merkel's conservative bloc have been cold to Macron's proposal, saying they are wary that his call for more solidarity could see German taxpayers' money used to fund profligate member states.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out in a newspaper interview her ideas for more European integration, including the creation of a joint refugee agency that would determine asylum requests on the continent's borders.

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

Merkel was characteristically diplomatic when asked how she felt about the incoming populist government in Italy and the comments its euroskeptic leaders had made about Italy not being "slaves to Germany and France".

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