Macron says eurozone needs ‘its own budget’ to support investments.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agreed that finalizing a European banking union and agreeing to a common eurozone budget are top priorities for the bloc.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday after their meeting in Paris, Macron said there is “total agreement with Italy and with other EU partners on the banking union, which needs to be finalized, and solidarity and protection mechanisms, known as ‘common backstops,’ must be put in place.” The French president suggested that a decision would be made at the upcoming European Council summit later this month.
Macron also said the eurozone needs “its own budget” to support investments, and this would be discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the next few days.
Conte, whose new government brings together two populist parties, echoed his French counterpart’s words, saying Italy would work alongside Germany to find common ground on the way forward in order to strengthen Europe’s finances and its single currency.
At the end of the press conference, Macron tweeted: “Migration and eurozone are the two topics on which Europe hasn’t been effective or unified enough in the past few years, and both will be big tests for the Continent.”
Conte, on the other hand, said: “It’s time to turn the page on migration. Those who set foot in Italy, set it in Europe. And nobody in the EU can think they can just turn their backs to this problem.”
The meeting between the two leaders came just days after a bitter row between Rome and Paris over Italy’s refusal to let a migrant ship dock in Sicily.