Beneath the Niceties, France and Germany Still Disagree

Oct 16, 2015 | 01:43 GMT

France and Germany are agreed that Europe is a good thing, and broadly that in order to avoid going backward it must go forward. These are easy words to say. The problems come when they start to say how. France wants to talk about a joint eurozone budget, and it wants to talk about how the money from this budget will be doled out to the members, ultimately starting a conversation that leads toward the creation of a transfer union from the richer states to the less rich. Germany is happy to talk about a joint budget, but within the subject it is most interested in discussing the enforcement of strict fiscal rules that will bring member states into line, negating the need for a transfer union because all states will be living within their means, just like Germany. ...

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