Thursday

27th Apr 2017

Germany would 'never dare' to judge France on economy

  • Differences but no frictions, the two ministers say (Photo: Council of European Union)

The finance ministers of France and Germany on Tuesday (13 November) strongly denied there were any friction about how Paris is tackling the country's economic problems.

"It is extraordinary that we get questions on frictions and divergences during a joint press conference. The very aim of this press conference is to show there are none," French finance minister Pierre Moscovici said.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"There are no Franco-German misunderstandings, no meddling in each other's affairs," he said. But he admitted that it was "natural" for the "bigger" friend Germany to show an interest in how France is reducing its public deficit and how Paris plans to catch up on competitiveness.

Moscovici presented a "competitiveness" plan on Monday evening during a meeting of eurozone finance ministers. It outlined what Paris plans to do to reform its labour market and bring the public deficit and debt within EU thresholds.

The International Monetary Fund and a specially-commissioned report both urged Paris to focus more on labour market reforms rather than tax hikes for the rich and for companies.

The French government has meanwhile readjusted its policy and announced a €20 billion tax relief for enterprises.

For his part, German finance chief Wolfgang Schaeuble - a renowned fiscal hawk - said his country would "never dare to judge France's economic decisions" and that he "fully trusts" the government to take all the right measures to bring the economy onto a more competitive track.

The joint press conference comes after a series of denials in Germany of press reports that Schaeuble wanted to ask an advisory panel of economists - usually dealing with the domestic economy- to have a look at France's economy.

Instead, Schaeuble on Tuesday floated the idea of jointly tasking "experts within a broader exercise" to look at the historic and cultural roots of the economic traditions of both countries.

"We are not giving grades to each other. That would be the worst basis of the Franco-German relationship," Schaeuble said.

No matter the type of government in both countries, the Franco-German entente was crucial for Europe to overcome the crisis, both ministers said.

"We are the two largest economies in Europe and we have a special responsibility which we are willing to assume. France and Germany will always be working towards bridging their differences," Moscovici said.

France stripped of another top rating

Moody's on Monday became the second ratings agency to strip France of its top rating, citing continued economic woes and lack of competitiveness.

Eurogroup makes 'progress' on Greek deal

Eurozone ministers endorsed an agreement in principle between the Greek government and its creditors over a new package of reforms. But talks on fiscal targets and debt could still block a final agreement.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Commission stops German-British stock merger

The decision to block the merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse was expected, as negotiations between the parties broke down a few weeks ago.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Investigation

MEPs oppose EU agency to prevent Dieselgate II

The European Parliament said on Tuesday that there should be more EU oversight on how cars are approved, but stopped short of calling for an independent EU agency.

News in Brief

  1. EU parliament moves to lift Le Pen's immunity
  2. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's university law
  3. Scots slowly losing appetite for independence - poll
  4. Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list
  5. EU to put parental leave on political agenda
  6. Israel cancels German meeting over human rights groups
  7. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  8. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. Brexit is about Europe's future as well
  2. Power struggle in Greenland: Three reasons why the EU should care
  3. Nordic and Baltic countries step up digitalisation efforts
  4. European states still top media freedom list
  5. Let’s not put European public health at risk
  6. Threatened Budapest university calls for EU support
  7. Orban set to face down EU threats
  8. Dont expect 'quick fix' in Syria, China tells EU