Angela Merkel backs Juncker’s dream of EU finance minister | City & Business | Finance

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The German Chancellor reluctantly admitted a budget minister could be introduced into the bloc, as Mr Juncker, as well as French president Emmanuel Macron, step up calls for closer financial integration between member states.

Mrs Merkel said the governance of the eurozone needs to be strengthened – and this could feasibly mean a finance minister.

Eurozone powerhouse Germany has traditionally been reluctant to share more of its income with fellow states through a shared budget.

But Mr Juncker used his annual State Of The Union address to this week push his dream of greater financial integration and a finance minister.

Mrs Merkel today conceded the EU president’s plan could come to fruition – but did not exactly sound overjoyed by the plans.

In an apparent effort to keep a united front with the EU president, Mrs Merkel said: We certainly need to strengthen the governance of the euro zone … I have nothing against a European finance minister.

“I can well imagine that.”

But she added: “But what is important to me is that we underpin the slogans – ‘economic government’ and ‘European finance minister’ and ‘budget’ – with substance.”

Mr Merkel also said economic cooperation was still “incoherent.”

It comes after Mr Macron joined Mr Juncker in greater calls for a budget and finance minister.

The French President said the steps are key to avoiding economic shocks and head off future crises.

Mr Macron also wants a European Monetary Fund to replace the International Monetary Fund in any member state bailouts.

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