France, Germany hammer out eurozone reforms

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Brendan Smialowski / AFP

The French and German economy ministers met this weekend to hammer out the details of proposed eurozone reforms ahead of a summit on the question later this month.


French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Sunday that "significant progress" was made at eurozone reform talks held in Paris with his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz.

The two men spent nearly 14 hours holed up in a hotel room hammering out the details, according to media reports.

A German finance ministry spokesman said the talks will continue in the coming days.

They aim to bridge the gap between France and Germany on eurozone reform.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the bloc to have its own budget and minister.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has regarded eurozone reform more prudently, with an eye to German voters complaints that tax payers in richer countries should not bail out indebted governments in poorer countries.

The potential size of the eurozone budget is another point of contention between the EU's two top economies.

Merkel has proposed it be "at the lower end of the double-digit billions of euros range", while Macron has called for a budget amounting to "several points of the eurozone's GDP".

Le Maire and Scholz will put their proposals to a joint Franco-German ministerial meeting later this week ahead of a summit on the issue set for 29 June.


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