French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on Germany to stop delaying EU decisions about taxes and the eurozone budget. He urged Berlin to start addressing the key European initiatives that France has been pushing for month. The people of Europe are running out of patience, he warned, while populists love EU indecision.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, France has been pushing for more EU assertiveness since last year, but Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s administration has spent the last few months bogged down in internal crises, especially rows over migration policy with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
“My patience is endless, because that’s part of my job,” Le Maire said in a long interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung on October 4. “But the patience of the people is running out … it should be clear to everyone: not making any decisions is nourishing populism. It’s better to act quickly now and then refine afterwards. Nothing is worse than not deciding.”
According to DW, Josef Janning, head of the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Germany’s delays were only partly down to domestic squabbles.
“There’s resistance to it, and Germany doesn’t want these things enough to overcome the resistance actively,” she said. “There are other countries who are not in favour of a eurozone budget either: from the Netherlands, to the Finns, to the Slovaks, to the Austrians. And Berlin is hiding behind the resistance of these others and hiding behind the domestic agenda.”