Germany: EU has more ‘pressing issues’ than eurozone budget

The idea of a eurozone budget shouldn’t distract Brussels from more important concerns, Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Jörg Kukies said in an interview with the Financial Times published today.

“Why should we weaken the EU by establishing a parallel structure?” Kukies said. He added that the “most pressing issue” for Brussels would be to see “how the EU budget can contribute to stabilization, competitiveness and convergence,” and that this is “a more relevant question than carving out a separate budget for the eurozone.”

Creating a separate pool of cash that could prop up the single currency in the event of another financial crisis has been a top priority for French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in June on a plan for “eurozone reform.” But in a signal that Berlin is cooling on the idea of a eurozone budget, Kukies said the government’s priorities for the next Multiannual Financial Framework are more targeted initiatives to help countries facing financial difficulties. “We clearly support the idea that a currency area also requires fiscal instruments,” he said.

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