Thursday, May 16, 2013

France's Hollande urges euro zone government, common debt

French President Francois Hollande called on Thursday for an economic government in the euro zone that would have its own budget, the right to issue debt, a harmonized tax system and a full-time president.

Speaking at a news conference marking his first year in office, a day after economic data showed France had slipped back into recession, the Socialist leader said he sought to create a full political European Union within two years.

His proposals seemed likely to encounter stiff resistance from Germany, Europe's leading power, which opposes mutualising debt among European states and is reluctant to give the euro zone its own secretariat or create new divisions in the EU, of which 10 countries are not in the 17-nation single currency.