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26.04.2019 Europe

Macron Admits To Franco-German Splits On Key Issues

World REUTERS / Eva Plevier
APR 26, 2019 EUROPE

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday admitted that there are differences with German counterpart Angela Merkel on Brexit, trade and energy policy, saying "fruitful confrontations" and compromises were part of the ties between the two countries.

There are difference between Paris and Berlin on Brexit, on climate change and on energy policy.

The frank admission of splits in the Franco-German relationship was rare from Macron who has sought to build a close relationship with Merkel to launch an ambitious reform programme for the EU.

But Merkel has pushed back against many of Macron's proposals and the duo were publicly at odds in Brussels last week over how to handle Britain's departure from the European Union.

Merkel favoured granting London a long extension, while Macron argued for a short one, which would have increased the chances of Britain crashing out without a deal.

On trade policy, Macron referred to what he described as the "incoherent" decision to begin EU trade talks with the United States.

The trade talks were backed by Merkel and most European Union countries, but opposed by France on the grounds that the US has failed to join global efforts to fight climate change.

France and Germany are also at odds over economic policy.

Merkel has resisted Macron's call for a shared budget for members of the Eurozone which would finance infrastructure and other investments in weak members of the currency area.