Brussels Calls for Creation of European Monetary Fund

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Brussels has called for the creation of a European Monetary Fund and financial aid for countries hit by economic shocks, as it pushes ahead with ambitious plans to overhaul the institutions and functions of the euro area, the Financial Times reported. The European Commission said its proposals were a natural response to shortcomings of eurozone governance that were brutally revealed by the sovereign debt crisis. Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission president, said the plans showed Europe taking its future “into our own hands,” echoing calls from French president Emmanuel Macron for the bloc to assert its “economic sovereignty”. Valdis Dombrovskis, commission vice-president in charge of the euro, said the reform plans presented a “balanced” set of ideas. “It’s a package that can help the resilience of monetary union and restart the process of convergence,” he said. “We are hoping for support and a constructive approach from member states.” But officials from EU member states are warning that many of the headline plans could be jettisoned as national capitals are split over what direction further eurozone integration should take. Read more. (Subscription required.)