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Merkel, Macron seek to revitalise ties to bolster EU

19 Mai 2017

Macron, meeting with the German Chancellor, shared Merkel's openness to change European Union treaties if needed for eurozone reforms.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) poses for photos with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, capital of Germany, on May 15, 2017.

Meanwhile, tensions have arisen over Macron's policies toward media access, recalling similar conflicts over coverage of Donald Trump's presidency in the U.S.

In Berlin, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed France's new President Emmanuel Macron, one day after his inauguration.

"There will be more convergence, firstly between France and Germany, and we think France and Germany should play the role of the engine".

Macron said that treaty change was "no longer a French taboo".

"What I know is that we have investments to make [in Europe], and so we have to work on investment mechanisms for the future", the French leader added.

"It will include projects that are not going to emerge overnight, but we share a belief that we should not only tackle Brexit but also think of the ways to strengthen the remaining European Union countries and the eurozone", Merkel said.

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Mrs Merkel called Mr Macron's visit an honour and a sign of the deep friendship between the two European powerhouses.

Macron's office says that the meeting, attended by the country's most senior military and security officials, focused on the operations of French armed forces overseas -mostly in Africa's Sahel region, Iraq and Syria. Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, the former defense minister, stays on in Macron's new government as foreign minister and Europe minister.

During the Cabinet meeting, Macron called on his ministers to have the "necessary discipline" and "solidarity" despite their sometimes stark political differences, government spokesman Christophe Castaner said. Center-right Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron tapped named Monday, is to lead the government at least until the elections.

"Macron clarified his position, saying he did not want Eurobonds or the mutualisation of (eurozone) debt" said Demesmay, referring to the pooling of funding and the build up of previous loans.

Mr Philippe is a member of the mainstream-right Republicans party and could possibly attract other Republicans to Mr Macron's cause, as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass his promised economic reforms.

"Germany's interests are closely linked to France's interests", Merkel noted.

The French President also called for a "less bureaucratic" European Union that "better protects" its citizens, and he categorically ruled out the so-called "eurobonds " n a proposal launched during the Eurozone crisis that would consist of combining debts among countries sharing the common currency, something to which Berlin is vehemently opposed.

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

Merkel, Macron seek to revitalise ties to bolster EU