Macron Says Fiscal Transfers Needed If the EU Is to ‘Hold On’
Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, speaks during a joint news conference. (Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg)

Macron Says Fiscal Transfers Needed If the EU Is to ‘Hold On’

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron said the richer members of the European Union need to do more to pay for economic rebuilding if the 27-nation bloc is to survive.

The EU needs to see “financial transfers and solidarity” if it’s going to “hold on” through the coronavirus crisis, Macron said in an interview with the Financial Times.

EU leaders are preparing for the latest installment of their battle over so called coronabonds at a virtual summit next week. France has been leading the calls for joint debt issuance to finance the EU’s economic recovery, a tool that would see countries like Germany and the Netherlands back loans to Italy and others that have suffered more from the pandemic.

Germany and the Netherlands have ruled out such a move, arguing that the euro-area rescue fund can more efficiently provide assistance.

Macron told the Financial Times that such intransigence will boost the chances of euroskeptic populists taking power in Italy, Spain and France and that would put the EU at risk.

He also said it’s “unacceptable” that some EU countries are using the pandemic as an excuse to restrict freedoms, a jab at Hungary’s Viktor Orban who has taken on extraordinary powers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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