Brussels has more ‘pressing issues’ than separate eurozone budget, says Germany

Eurozone budget should not divert Brussels’ attention from more significant initiatives, Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Jorg Kukies has said.

GAME CHANGERS

Deputy Finance Minister Jörg Kukies says government’s priorities are more targeted initiatives to help countries facing financial difficulties.

The idea of a eurozone budget shouldn’t distract Brussels from more important concerns, Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Jörg Kukies said in an interview with the Financial Times published Thursday.

“Why should we weaken the EU by establishing a parallel structure?” Kukies said. He added that the “most pressing issue” for Brussels would be to see “how the EU budget can contribute to stabilization, competitiveness and convergence,” and that this is “a more relevant question than carving out a separate budget for the eurozone.”

Creating a separate pool of cash that could prop up the single currency in the event of another financial crisis has been a top priority for French President Emmanuel Macron.

French President Emmanuel Macron has, meanwhile, argued for a separate pool of cash that could support the single currency should another financial crisis occur.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in June on a plan for “eurozone reform.” But in a signal that Berlin is cooling on the idea of a eurozone budget, Kukies said the government’s priorities for the next Multiannual Financial Framework are more targeted initiatives to help countries facing financial difficulties. “We clearly support the idea that a currency area also requires fiscal instruments,” he said.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in June on a plan for “eurozone reform”. Yet Kukies’s announcement that the German government is prioritising more targeted initiatives to help countries encountering financial difficulties is indicative of Berlin’s cooled attitude towards the idea of a eurozone budget. “We clearly support the idea that a currency area also requires fiscal instruments,” he said.

Published: August 30, 2018