Merkel gives new push for eurozone reforms ahead of European Union summit

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As leaders of the eurozone's biggest economies, Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have promised that a joint roadmap for reforms will be presented at a Brussels summit on June 28 and 29.

She said that while solidarity among members of the single currency bloc was important that principle "should not lead to a debt union".

A key partner in Italy's new coalition, the right-wing League, has been sharply critical of the European Union.

As for her comments on Macron's ideas, Merkel said she supports the idea of transforming the European Monetary Fund (EFF) rescue fund she supports its transformation into an Stabilization Monetary Fund with the power to provide short-term credit lines to member states in crisis due to the large your government debt.

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Merkel refrained from outright criticism of Trump in her comments to the newspaper, but noted that the US has withdrawn from multilateral agreements and imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including from Europe.

The SPD have been critical of the conservatives' focus on austerity in the euro zone and had pressed Merkel to engage more actively with Macron on his reform proposals. She has said in the past that Europe can no longer fully rely on others and that it must take its fate into its own hand, alluding to disagreements with U.S. President Donald Trump.

She also said the EMF should be able to assess the debt sustainability of member states and "the instruments needed to restore this if necessary" - a nod to debt restructuring, which France opposes.

Merkel on Saturday congratulated Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a phone call on Saturday and invited him for talks in Berlin, her office said.

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In the interview, Ms Merkel also threw her weight behind a proposal by Mr Macron to create a European military intervention force outside North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Mr Conte, a little-known 53-year-old law professor, was sworn in on Friday.

Merkel said she was willing to discuss with the new Italian government ways to boost employment rates among young people in Italy.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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