EU finance ministers reach eurozone reform deal
EU finance ministers agreed reforms to better fight against a financial crisis on Tuesday that fell short of the original ambitions to relaunch Europe by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The agreement between the EU’s 27 finance ministers, without Britain, is intended to hand authorities a more powerful tool box in the event of a major shock to the European economy.
The proposals strengthen the financial plumbing of the European economy, but do not include far grander visions such as designating a eurozone finance minister or setting up a European-style IMF.
Even so, the ministers negotiated for more than 18 hours with discussions especially tense over the French backed idea of setting up a eurozone budget.
“We have a good result. The reform of the euro area is progressing at a decisive pace. Thanks to all those who helped,” said the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on his Twitter account.
The reforms now need the greenlight by EU leaders at a summit next week in Brussels.
National governments have for months been mulling a French proposal to create some sort of budget capacity for the single currency bloc which could be used in case of crises or economic shocks.
Macron has made the idea of a crisis-fighting budget for the 19-member bloc a signature part of his vision to jump-start the EU after the debt crisis, the shock of Brexit and the rise of populists.
The ministers agreed a much more scaled back version of the idea, linking it strictly to enhancing EU-backed reforms and not as aid to survive an unexpected economic downturn, as the French had intended.
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