May 10, 2017 / 3:15 PM / in 3 months

Germany's Schaeuble says Macron faces 'terribly difficult' decisions

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FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble presents draft budget for 2018 and mid-term plans for state spending until 2021 during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, March 15, 2017.Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

FRANKFURT ODER, Germany (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday France's president-elect Emmanuel Macron was facing "terribly difficult" decisions and his proposals, including for a joint euro zone budget, would require changes to the EU treaties.

Speaking at an university in the east German city of Frankfurt Oder, Schaeuble added: "France is so big and strong that its first thoughts need not be about who can help it."

Schaeuble said Macron's proposals for a euro zone finance minister and a joint euro zone budget were unlikely to happen due to the required treaty changes.

He had therefore suggested, as the second-best option, the further development of the euro zone's European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund into a European monetary fund.

Turning to the European Central Bank's monetary policy, Schaeuble said: "For the competitiveness of the German economy, the ECB's monetary policy currently is maybe a little bit too loose. For other euro zone countries, it's not too loose."

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel

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