May 15, 2017 / 6:08 PM / 7 months ago

France's Macron says EU treaty change "not taboo"

BERLIN (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the possibility of change to EU treaties was “not taboo” and that he wanted to see better protection for Europe’s workers.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Speaking in Berlin on his first foreign visit since his inauguration on Sunday, and at his first joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he also dispelled the idea circulating in German media that he was in favour of turning national debts of euro zone countries into euro-zone debt.

“I am happy that we can work together on a common roadmap for the European Union and the Euro Zone,” he said. “In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo. It will no longer be the case.”

“There are several areas in which we can cooperate in the short term,” he added “Common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade. All these will have an impact on our citizens. We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens.”

On the subject of debt, he added:

”I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualisation of existing debt in the euro zone.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by John Irish

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