March 12, 2018 / 11:58 AM / a year ago

Germany's Merkel: Must act quickly on European investment budget

German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Olaf Scholz address a news conference before signing a coalition in Berlin, Germany, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and its European Union partners must act quickly to find common ground on a European investment budget, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, before signing an agreement on her new coalition government.

“As far as an investment budget is concerned, I said very early - in 2012, or 2013 - I could imagine something like that,” Merkel told a joint news conference the leaders of her coalition allies, the Bavarian CSU and the left-leaning Social Democrats.

“But one also has to say the visions from Finland to France, Italy, Ireland, Germany are not yet so well worked out - so we have to speak about what we want, how this relates to the whole European budget, which we also need to prepare anew. We will have to deal with this questions very early,” she said.

Acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz said the future of Europe would be a central focus for the new government.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Andrea Shalal

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