March 14, 2018 / 7:46 PM / 2 years ago

French finance minister presses Germany on euro zone reforms

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during a news conference after a National Council of Industry at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday urged Germany and other European countries to stop holding up tough decisions about the euro zone’s banking and capital market regulations.

Euro zone finance ministers failed to make a breakthrough on Monday on an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme, even though the European Central Bank said risks for banks have already been reduced enough.

Germany along with other northern countries say euro zone banks must first reduce exposure to risks before such a project can be launched.

“I regret that current political difficulties in some European countries is holding up major progress on policy,” le Maire said at a conference at Paris-Dauphine University.

“I’m saying again to our partners, in particular our German partners, everything is on the table. It’s time to decide, France is ready to decide,” he added.

The situation has been complicated by Germany’s failure to form a coalition government until only recently.

Le Maire said Paris had offered “important concessions” and now expected others to do the same so that decisions could be taken in the coming months.

Le Maire is due to meet his new German counterpart Olaf Scholz in Paris.

Reporting by Myriam Rivet; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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