Germany’s Lindner Urges Monetary Stability on First Paris Visit
(Bloomberg) -- German Finance Minister Christian Lindner warned of the risks of inflation in Europe and called for monetary stability, in his first meeting with his French counterpart in Paris after being sworn into the new position last week.
“The risk is real, and this is why we have to combine monetary stability in the monetary union and on the other hand more investments for the modernizing of economies toward climate friendly alternatives,” Lindner said. “This is not too easy, but it’s possible.”
Setting a new fiscal framework in Europe is a key priority for the bloc’s two largest economies after the inauguration of a new government in Germany and as France prepares to take the rotating presidency of the European Union. But it’s also a possible source of tension, as Germany has traditionally stressed the need for rules to consolidate finances, while France has emphasized policies that foster growth.
Speaking alongside Lindner, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said there should be “no misunderstanding” that France wants sound public finances, but that the first priority for Europe should be investments to drive economic growth. The French minister has also proposed countries in the EU could take different paths to repair their budgets after the pandemic, depending on their starting point.
“Frankly, France and Germany, we don’t always share the same ideas at the beginning of the process, but the special character of our relationship is defined by the ability to find consensus in the end,” Lindner said.
Both ministers said they would prioritize defining shared policy objectives before setting rules. That may not happen before the end of France’s EU presidency at the end of June next year.
“We are not in a hurry and if we need to take more time to pave the way for compromise, we will take more time to pave the way for compromise,” Le Maire said.
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