German Chancellor, Angela Merkel expressed hope that the Eurogroup meeting on Thursday would be the last step for the Greek bailout programme during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. Mrs Merkel pointed out that “at that point, all euro countries will be out of the programmes” and it will be the right time to implement measures to defend the eurozone.
“Now I think we have the timing. On Thursday, I hope we will be able to take with Greece the last step in the programme. Then all euro countries will have exited the programmes it will be the right time to say ‘now we have to make the Eurozone safe from crisis’ and I believe we can make a good step with our proposals at the Eurozone Summit we will have after the European Council next week”, the Chancellor said at the joint press conference with Emmanuel Macron in the framework of the consultations aimed at presenting a German-French proposal at the Summit at the end of the month.
Angela Merkel also stressed that an economic and monetary union could only be maintained if economic policies converged and gave an example of the cooperation between Germany and France in order to harmonise the corporate tax system and the progress made by the two Finance Ministries on the cross-border Banking union. She stressed, however, that in order to allow for convergence, some countries needed additional assistance and pointed out that “convergence in the Eurozone is not yet sufficient”.