June 10, 2018 / 1:59 PM / 12 days ago

France, Germany still split on eurozone reforms, French official says

PARIS (Reuters) - France and Germany have made progress but have yet to agree on a roadmap for euro zone reforms, French and German officials told Reuters after finance ministers from both countries held talks in Paris on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO - The flags of Germany, France and the European Union are seen in front of the the Chancellery, before the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, Germany May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have promised to present a joint reform proposal at a European Union summit on June 27-28, but differences remain on euro zone issues and banking regulation.

The euro zone’s two biggest economies differ on how to balance Macron’s call for more solidarity in Europe with Merkel’s insistence that tax payers in richer countries should not end up paying for government failures in poorer ones.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire met with his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz, in Paris on Saturday in an attempt to narrow their differences.

“We discussed all outstanding issues and made substantial progress, exchanging papers and talking throughout the night,” a French official said. “We still have some work to do before being able to agree on a roadmap.”

FILE PHOTO - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and German Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Paris, France March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A German finance ministry spokesman said: “We have made significant progress with our French friends towards a reform proposal for the euro zone and we will continue our talks next week.”

The French official confirmed that both ministers agreed to continue their negotiations during the week, probably by video conference.

Scholz has suggested the creation of a Europe-wide unemployment insurance system to make the euro zone more resilient to future economic shocks. The Social Democrat also wants to introduce a financial transaction tax.

On Friday, speaking at a business conference in Berlin, Le Maire had welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support for the idea of a euro zone investment budget, one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s key demands. But he said France and Germany had “a way to go” to reach a truly ambitious common position.

Reporting by Myriam Rivet in Paris and Michael Nienaber in Berlin, Writing by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Larry King

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