Macron Proposes to Reform EU, Create New Eurozone Parliament

Geneva Matthews
September 10, 2017

An analysis published on the day when Emmanuel Macron, on an official visit to Greece, explained that as he approached the first demonstrations against his reform of the Labor Code, he did not intend to yield to the pressure: " I will not yield anything to the idlers, to the cynics, nor to the extremes, "he thus assured in the garden of the French School of Athens.

Elected in May, the French leader is trying to reshape and strengthen the euro currency bloc by creating a euro zone finance minister and parliament, as well as a stand-alone budget to cushion against economic shocks and head off future crises.

In the historic speech Thursday on the Pnyx hill in Athens - the founding place of democracy - Macron emphasized the cultural ties that bind Greece and France together, and spelled out his idea for a more cohesive euro zone, warning that "sovereignty, democracy and trust" are all "in danger".

These debates - so-called "democratic conventions", which he proposed during his French presidential campaign - would help lay the foundations of Europe for the next 10 to 15 years.

"Our generation can choose to [do this]. we must find the strength to rebuild Europe", he said.

Greece's economy is showing signs of rebounding after a deep recession that shrank it by a quarter, boosting hopes it can emerge from years of financial bailouts.

"I don't think that having the International Monetary Fund supervise European programmes is a good method. the credibility and sovereignty of Europe justified doing things differently", Macron said.

France will submit soon a proposal for a road map to rebuild Europe, Macron said.

Greece has undergone three economic bailouts since 2010 that were accompanied by substantial austerity measures including tax increases and social security cuts.

In June the International Monetary Fund demanded that Greece adopt more austerity measures in 2019 and 2020, after the current bailout program expires in August 2018.

The IMF has said it will only contribute funds to the programme if European Union creditors take further steps to lighten Greece's debt load, which has yet to happen over strenuous objections by Germany.

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