‘Europe will not pause’ during German crisis: EU

Brussels – The EU will push ahead with plans for post-Brexit reforms of the euro later this month despite the collapse of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition talks, the European Commission has said.

“Europe will not pause during this period,” Margaritis Schinas, a spokesman for commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, told a news briefing in Brussels on Tuesday.

“We will be coming forward with our proposals as announced for the new EMU (European Monetary Union) architecture scheduled for December 6 in time for the euro area summit later in December.”

Juncker spoke to Merkel on Saturday and again on Monday, Schinas said, adding that “he is following of course events and developments in Germany closely.”

Leaders of 27 EU countries minus Britain are due to meet in Brussels on December 15 to discuss plans to push ahead with reforms to the euro single currency.

The meeting is part of wider efforts, spurred by French President Macron but backed by Merkel, to look to the future after Britain’s vote last year to leave the bloc.

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was to lead a push from Tuesday to save the EU’s top economy from the political turmoil sparked by the collapse of the coalition talks.

The shock failure of the month-long coalition talks threatens to paralyse the bloc, robbing it of the guidance of its longest serving leader just as it wrestles with Brexit negotiations, Catalonia and its reform ambitions, experts have warned.