French presidential candidate says currency amounts to a ‘weak Deutsche Mark’ that has failed to unify EU states and stand up to the US dollar.
The euro may not exist in 10 years’ time if Paris and Berlin fail to bolster the single currency union, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has said, adding that the current system benefits Germany at the expense of weaker member states.
Macron was economy minister under Socialist President François Hollande until he resigned this year to create his own political movement and stand as an independent candidate in this year’s presidential election.
“The truth is that we must collectively recognise that the euro is incomplete and cannot last without major reforms,” Macron said in a speech at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Speaking in English, he added: “It has not provided Europe with full international sovereignty against the dollar on its rules. It has not provided Europe with a natural convergence between the different member states.”
France must implement labour market reforms and revamp its education system to revive growth, while Germany must accept that more investment instead of austerity can boost growth across the eurozone area, the centrist politician said.
“The dysfunctioning of the euro is of good use to Germany, I have to say,” said Macron, adding that a lack of trust between France and Germany was blocking major reforms that would increase solidarity among the 19 members of the eurozone.
“The euro is a weak Deutsche Mark,” said Macron. “The status quo is synonymous, in 10 years’ time, with the dismantling of the euro.”
He proposed the creation of a eurozone budget to finance growth-oriented investments and to extend financial assistance to struggling member states.