Peter Altmaier, one of Merkel’s closest party allies, will pay a visit to his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire on Thursday, a day after leading French and German economists unveil new recommendations for a reform of the eurozone.
The meeting is a sign that Berlin is prepared to negotiate with Paris in parallel to Merkel’s coalition talks with the SPD, which could begin later this month if members of the centre-left party give a green light at a party congress next Sunday.
“We have an acting government which can act and must continue to work,” Achim Post, deputy leader for the SPD in parliament, told Reuters. He said the coalition blueprint clinched on Friday would pave the way for a “paradigm shift” on Europe away from austerity and towards more investment and jobs.
The 28-page document was also welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron, whose plans for an ambitious reform of the EU, including an overhaul of euro zone governance, were dealt a blow by an inconclusive German election in September and the political limbo that followed.