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Merkel: EU should be more independent of IMF

04 June 2018

"I will approach the new Italian government openly and work with it instead of speculating about its intentions", Merkel told the paper in an interview published on Sunday.

In an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Merkel said solidarity among eurozone members should not turn the single currency bloc into a "debt union".

Macron wants to turn Europe's existing bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund (EMF), to act as a buffer in any future financial crises in the bloc, which was almost torn apart in a debt crisis in 2009.

Merkel also said that a future EMF would be organized on an intergovernmental basis and national parliaments of member countries would have oversight.

Her proposed fixes include the completion of a long-sought banking union, a common European investment budget, and a European Monetary Fund (EMF) that would be developed from the bloc's existing bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

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Merkel refrained from outright criticism of Trump in her comments to the newspaper, but noted that the USA has withdrawn from multilateral agreements and imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including from Europe.

A key partner in Italy's new coalition, the right-wing League, has been sharply critical of the European Union.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Monday for an exchange of views, Merkel's spokesman said, as part of her regular informal meetings with leaders of European institutions.

On the topic of migration, Ms. Merkel appeared to see no quick implementation of a quota system for asylum-seekers on the continent. There also needs to be common standards for asylum in Europe, Merkel said, and a unified external border control, which will be operated by Frontex.

Merkel was characteristically diplomatic when asked how she felt about the incoming populist government in Italy and the comments its euroskeptic leaders had made about Italy not being "slaves to Germany and France".

Merkel: EU should be more independent of IMF