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Meanwhile, the mainstream press is celebrating the victory of openness over closedness, as well as the fact that you can win an election on a pro-EU platform. Here's Wolfgang Münchau looking ahead
It is a common notion, but wrong, that France is an ailing economy. France and Germany have enjoyed almost identical levels of labour productivity for the past 50 years. Both countries have achieved a similar economic performance since the introduction of the euro -- with Germany doing a little worse than France before the financial crisis, and a little better since. France is not like Italy -- which has failed to generate much productivity growth since entering the eurozone. This is why the case for eurozone exit, as made by Marine Le Pen, was not as strong in France, as it will be in Italy.

France, however, has been breaching the EU's fiscal rules. It has debts of 100 per cent of gross domestic product, while Germany is on course to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio to 60 per cent by the end of this decade -- the official, but much ignored, debt ceiling in the eurozone. If Mr Macron has any chance to persuade Berlin of the virtue of a common eurozone budget and a common finance minister, as set out in his manifesto, he will need to demonstrate that he is serious about fulfilling the treaty rules. Fortunately for him, the timing is good. The eurozone economy is in a mild cyclical upswing. There is no better time to consolidate but now. His programme set out a moderately strong fiscal squeeze of €60bn over five years. At an average annual rate of €12bn, this is between 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent of last year's economic output.

Germany is happy that Mr Macron won the election but virtually nobody in Berlin is talking about his idea of a common eurozone budget and finance minister. The SPD is more flexible than the CDU but, unlike Mr Macron, is not campaigning in favour of common fiscal policies either. Berlin will soon discover that Mr Macron is demanding changes that the German political establishment has explicitly ruled out. At least one side will end up eating its words -- and both will if they settle on a compromise. (Financial Times)



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 8th, 2017 at 08:51:19 AM EST
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