France and Germany need to combine forces to bolster the role of the euro in international finance to rival the US and Chinese currencies, according to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
“Our sovereignty depends on our capacity to turn the euro into a reference currency, and I believe it’s possible,” Le Maire said on Saturday at a conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. He was speaking on a panel alongside Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party.
The euro is one of four main issues Le Maire wants to discuss with Germany to align their positions and bring the rest of the European Union on board. The others are mobilizing Europeans’ savings to help stimulate euro-area growth, reforming European competition policy following the Alstom-Siemens merger failure and preventing a trade war between the U.S. and China.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said she wanted a cohesive Europe with a strong economy, allowing it to keep up with China and the U.S. “We need concrete progress on growth, and we need to organize it at the European level,” she said.
She said Europe needed to develop its own standards and products if it didn’t want technology giants such as Amazon and Google to set the bar on online privacy and data protection. This was echoed by Le Maire, who said “there’s no longer any political sovereignty without technological sovereignty.” [...]
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