French finance minister prods Germany on EU economic reform

BERLIN (AP) — France’s finance minister is pressing Germany to move ahead with plans for economic reform in the European Union, warning that “we cannot wait any longer” and arguing that ordinary citizens’ patience is “exhausted.”

The countries’ leaders agreed in June to create a eurozone budget aimed at boosting investment and to improve the effectiveness of the 19-nation currency area’s rescue mechanism, among other things. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has largely been preoccupied by domestic political problems since then.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Thursday’s edition of German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung the pledges must be acted on and “not making decisions feeds populism.”

He said “the domestic political situation on one side or the other must not be used as a pretext to delay pressing European policy decisions.”

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