Macron Sets Course For European Superstate on First Day as French President

  • Macron Sets Course For European Superstate on First Day as French President

Macron Sets Course For European Superstate on First Day as French President

The official meeting was the French president's inaugural visit on his first official day in office, and was joined by his newly appointed Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who can speak German. As far-right and isolationist views have come to the fore in recent years, as epitomized by the election of Donald Trump and Brexit, Macron's centrist appeal may have halted a trend which had threatened to see the European Union unravel.

Merkel, receiving her fourth French president since taking office nearly 12 years ago, told the freshly elected Macron that Germany would be willing to consider changing European Union treaties if necessary.

Both leaders suggested they were prepared to change European treaties if needed, but Ms Merkel stressed that such measures were not immediately on the table.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, an arch conservative who has come to personify Berlin's focus on fiscal rectitude, had suggested that Macron's idea of creating a budget and finance minister for the euro zone was unrealistic because it would require politically thorny changes to the European Union treaty.

In Berlin, Mr Macron declined to answer a question about his new prime minister, only saying the choice of Mr Philippe was part of the new political landscape he was promoting. The two leaders left unsaid, however, what kind of treaty change they might seek.

So far his appointments to his presidential team have all been men under 50, majority graduates like him of France's elite ENA college for senior public servants, which has turned out generations of French politicians.

PARIS (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron held a special security meeting, spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and convened his Cabinet for the first time Thursday - all under a growing cloud of concern that his office is trying to control the press.

A large group of onlookers, some carrying European flags, stood outside the chancellery as Mr Macron arrived.

She said Germany would also be willing to change European Union treaties if the changes make sense.

Germany and France are the eurozone's two biggest economies.

Later this month, he will also meet Donald Trump, when the United States president - believed to have preferred Le Pen to Macron - visits Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

On the subject of debt, he added: "I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualisation of existing debt in the euro zone".

Macron, who trounced far-right anti-EU leader Marine Le Pen in the election, urged a "historic reconstruction" of Europe to battle the populism sweeping the continent and widespread disillusionment with the bloc.

The losers of the presidential election are aiming to capitalise on a general lack of enthusiasm for the pro- business Macron - whom many voters backed exclusively to bar Le Pen - to bounce back in the parliamentary vote.

The government's goal of having 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2020 was meant to be underpinned by a buyer's premium of EUR4,000, but sales have been slower than expected.

Mr Philippe began his political life as a Socialist activist affiliated to former prime minister Michel Rocard while he was a student, before turning to the right.