Merkel's plans for the European Union: joint military force, common migrant asylum standards

Battered Italy bruised Europe Italian saga reveals deeper problems facing EU

The leaders of Italy's right-wing League and the 5-Star Movement late on Thursday patched up their alliance after agreeing to substitute a eurosceptic they had initially proposed as economy minister but who was rejected by the head of state.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview on Sunday that she supports the idea of a joint European defense force, adding that the initiative could even be open to UK's participation after Brexit, Politico reports.

More must be done to strengthen to the architecture of the eurozone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, giving a new push for reforms to the currency union ahead of an EU summit this month.

"If the whole euro zone is in danger, the EMF must be able to grant long-term credit in order to help countries", Merkel told the paper.

"I can imagine the possibility of a credit line that is short-term, five years for example".

More work still needs to be done for an "ambitious agreement on the monetary union", the source said.

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The SPD have been critical of the conservatives' focus on austerity in the euro zone and had pressed Merkel to engage more actively with Macron on his reform proposals.

In addition to a banking and capital markets union, the euro zone should turn the ESM into an EMF with powers to give member states hit by sovereign debt troubles shorter-term credit lines, Merkel said.

The EU has been under pressure to show unity after US President Donald Trump's recent moves such as pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and imposing tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports, according to Reuters.

Merkel also called for European cooperation on migration and asylum programs.

Bouvet said investors were also buoyed by comments from the new prime minister that he would keep the 2018 budget in place, so there would be no immediate adverse effect on Spain's public finances.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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