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Macron speaks on Europe but is Germany listening?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 01:46

French President Emmanuel Macron offered a sweeping vision for a renewal of Europe on Tuesday, calling for the EU to cooperate more closely on defence, immigration, tax and social policy, and for the single currency bloc to have its own budget. But as David Pollard reports, his ambitions may be limited by the result of Germany's election.

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Even before he speaks, a standing ovation for the man his fans see as bringing change to France. Here, to outline a vision of doing the same for Europe. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "The only way ahead for our future is the renewal of a sovereign, united and democratic Europe." Macron confident of getting heard at home. As he broached the thorniest of EU reform challenges .... Deeper integration - with greater harmonisation on tax, defence, immigration - and the economy. Ideas that may play well to his absolute parliamentary majority. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING "We need further investment - we must have the means to withstand economic shocks ... And for those reasons, we need a stronger budget, at the heart of Europe." But in the eurozone's biggest economy, his words may fall on, if not deaf, then distracted ears. After losing vital seats in Sunday's election, Germany's Angela Merkel now tuned in to the task of building a new government. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "The FDP, potential coalition partners for Angela Merkel, are not particularly enamoured of that prospect and they're certainly not enamoured about debt sharing or debt calling euro bonds and that sort of thing. And they're certainly not in favour of bailouts and I think anything that sort of smacks of that sort of further integration is going to run up against significant resistance." Months of German coalition talks may be ahead. For Macron as for Europe, the vision, in the near term at least, one of uncertainty.

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Macron speaks on Europe but is Germany listening?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 01:46