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Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 

Merkel pressed to strengthen Euro area as part of coalition deal

Merkel pressed to strengthen Euro area as part of coalition deal

Berlin, 29 November 2017 (MIA) - Angela Merkel’s biggest political rival signaled he’s ready to provide stability for Germany and called on her to back expanded cooperation in the euro area, setting the tone for their first talks on potentially forming a government, Bloomberg reports. 

Social Democratic Party head Martin Schulz said he favors creating a euro-area budget to promote investment, a joint finance minister to curb tax competition among member countries and a “European framework for minimum wages.” A day before meeting Merkel to discuss coalition options, Schulz addressed a business audience in Berlin with what amounts to his party’s agenda for any formal negotiations.

“I can’t tell you what the outcome of the talks will be, but I can assure you of one thing: that I will argue in favor of the best solutions for our country and that my party is aware of its political responsibility,” Schulz said at a BGA employer federation’s convention on Wednesday. “That means you can’t just wing it. You need a bold vision, one that you may have to fight for.”

Ten days after Merkel’s attempt to form a coalition with two other smaller parties collapsed, Schulz is seeking maximum leverage from the chancellor’s need for a junior partner to start the fourth term she won in a national election in September. The former European Parliament president’s call for visionary policies contrasts with Merkel’s preference for a non-ideological, consensus-building approach to governing.

German business groups such as the employer’s association are pressing Merkel and others to end the political drift in Europe’s biggest economy, now in its third month. While a new election and ruling without a firm majority remain options, the chancellor’s party has made it clear that it prefers a stable government. lk/15:37

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