World Economy

Proposals to Strengthen EU

Proposals to Strengthen EUProposals to Strengthen EU

Germany’s finance minister is urging bolder steps to strengthen the 19-country euro currency union by setting up a fund to help member states with high unemployment and by laying the foundations for a European Union-wide tax system, AP reported. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made his proposals in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine made public Saturday. The ideas take a step toward those of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for wide-ranging actions to strengthen the EU, and surpass more modest proposals from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Scholz advocated a eurozone “reinsurance” fund that would loan money to countries that are hit by an economic crisis and have higher jobless benefit costs. He also called for a tax on financial transactions as the beginning of an EU-wide system of tax collection. The eurozone’s 2010-2012 debt crisis exposed a weakness in the currency union—the lack of a central pot of money to even out recessions when individual countries run into trouble. Both of Scholz’s proposals address the issue.

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