Germany, France pledge new effort to strengthen eurozone

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bruno Le Maire France's economy minister address the media in Berlin

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bruno Le Maire France's economy minister address the media in Berlin

Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bruno Le Maire the finance ministers of Germany and France agreed on Monday to strengthen the euro zone, leasing a breath of fresh air to the stalled reforms of the currency union.

Germany and France have pledged to help strengthen the eurozone, with the harmonisation of corporate taxes among the possible measures considered.

"We've been talking for years about progress in the integration of the eurozone, but things aren't advancing quickly enough or far enough", Le Maire said. "We have now made a decision to get things going more quickly and further in a very concrete manner", he said in Berlin after talks with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Schäuble's and Le Maire's meeting came two weeks after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election.

A week ago, Mr. Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly pledged to strengthen the European Union as they met in Berlin on Mr. Macron's first full day in office.

Le Maire assuring his German counterpart regarding France's fiscal generosity said that, "France would respect its European commitment to reduce deficits and we are not doing it to please the European Commission".

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Asked about the United Kingdom's looming departure from the EU, Le Maire said he believed it had the potential "for our financial sectors to become more attractive".

"Our role is to create wealth for our country, to create jobs for our country".

"Brexit gives us this opportunity and we intend on seizing this opportunity". "We are doing it because it is good for France".

"Despite the now strengthening economic recovery in the euro zone, not all member states have recovered completely from the last crisis, and the euro zone is economically vulnerable due to major macroeconomic imbalances, low core inflation and significant financial fragmentation", it said.

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