The EU in limbo

With relations between Paris and Berlin strained and neither in a position to accommodate southern European concerns, the euro zone is likely to remain in limbo


French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says Paris and Berlin must work together to bolster the European  Union, or it may not exist in a decade. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says Paris and Berlin must work together to bolster the European Union, or it may not exist in a decade. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

According to French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, Paris and Berlin must work together to bolster the European Union, or it may not exist in a decade.

One reason he cited for its troubles was Germany, which, he said, benefited at the expense of weaker EU members.

He is far from the first to make the claim.

US President Donald Trump has done so in far stronger terms.

And resentment towards Berlin has been high within the EU for a while, with other members saying its austerity and trade surplus amount to beggar-thy-neighbour policies.

Macron’s call for cooperation is difficult to implement.

He is the only pro-EU candidate in an election that has nativist leader Marine le Pen as a leading contender.

And in Germany, any concession to the EU would be political suicide for under-fire Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With relations between the two leading EU powers strained and neither in a position to accommodate southern European concerns, the euro zone is likely to remain in limbo.

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