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Germany, France compare notes

May 21, 2012

Germany and France have underlined their determination to work together to find solutions to the eurozone crisis. Differences over eurobonds, however, could make that tough.

Wolfgang Schaeuble and Pierre Moscovici
Image: dapd

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble came out of his first meeting with his new French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, on Monday stressing that the two countries would resolve the eurozone's woes.

"I am very confident that we will succeed," Schäuble told a joint press conference after the Berlin meeting.

The talks between the two men were dominated by the eurozone crisis, ahead of an informal EU summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

They said they would work to keep Greece in the eurozone.

"We both believe that Greece has its place in the eurozone," Moscovici told reporters.

Clash expected

But he pointed out that differences between them would possibly arise, and he brought up one main issue: eurobonds.

"That is a very important idea for us," Moscovici said. Newly elected French President Francois Hollande has pushed for the bonds as one solution to the crisis.

Berlin, however, has repeatedly rejected issuing eurobonds - which are meant to pool eurozone debt and enable indebted countries to borrow more easily on the financial markets - to relieve the crisis. The Germans argue that the bonds would ease the pressure on indebted countries to get their finances in order.

Schäuble implied on Monday that was the only way forward.

"The route of financial-political consolidation is a necessary condition to improve the standard of living in Europe," he said.

ncy/tm (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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