Economic Divide Stretches Case for EU Integration

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For those eager to see a step change in the pace of eurozone integration, these are exciting times, the Financial Times reported. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is set for a seemingly unstoppable victory in the September 24 Bundestag elections. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, is embarking on the boldest domestic reforms seen in a generation. The Franco-German couple are poised to seize the day, so the enthusiasts hope, and lay the foundations for a more complete financial and economic union of the 19-nation area. Among possible initiatives are a eurozone finance minister, albeit with limited powers; a small but symbolically significant eurozone budget; and a European monetary fund, emerging from the chrysalis of the crisis-fighting European Stability Mechanism, founded in 2012. However, not everyone is convinced that such proposals, if adopted, will address the root causes of the eurozone’s vulnerability. This was apparent at a recent conference of Eliamep, a think-tank in Athens. Read more. (Subscription required.)