“France is not the sick child of Europe”. Those were the words from the French Prime Minister on a visit to Germany, where he is attempting to reassure Berlin about his reform plans.
The German Chancellor had praise for Manuel Valls, but said Brussels would have to decide if France should have more time to adhere to EU budget rules.
“Prime Minister Manuel Valls just presented his reform agenda and I think it’s an impressive number of measures France is undertaking,” said Angela Merkel.
“As far as I know, and in my view, these reforms are in the important sectors that ultimately decide on competitiveness.”
Paris is under growing pressure to bring its public deficit down to the EU limit of 3% of GDP.
“I want to tell the Germans that we will implement our reforms,” said Valls. “It is in the interests of France. Despite our difficulties, we will do it also in the interests of Europe.”
Germany is also facing pressure from Brussels and the European Central Bank to increase public investment on infrastructure to give a boost to the eurozone.