Macron wins Merkel backing for bid to shake up Europe

She also made her most positive comments yet about Euro zone reforms mooted by Mr. Macron, saying it may be possible to change European Union treaties as would be required to enact them.

"We will tax large inheritances more strongly", said the draft manifesto of the SPD, which is junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition and whose leader Martin Schulz will run against her in the September 24 election.

Macron said "treaty change long used to be a French taboo", but that this would change now that he was president.

"Europe can only prosper when France and Germany prosper", she noted.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned such deep-reaching reforms would require treaty changes, which were "not realistic" at a time when Europe is hit by a surge of anti-euro populism.

"I am not a promoter of the mutualisation of old debt" within the eurozone, said Macron after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding however that the joint financing of future projects should be considered.

Bild daily wrote that voters had rewarded local politicians who had shown they backed Merkel, and provided "something to think about" for those in the CDU who had called for her head.

Marking the historic closeness of Franco-German relations, Macron said the countries would work constructively to deliver a stronger EU.

Edouard Philippe, 46, a lawmaker and mayor of the port city of Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main centre-right party, The Republicans, and will provide a counterweight to former Socialist members of parliament who have joined Mr Macron's cause.

Macron's office says that the meeting, attended by the country's most senior military and security officials, focused on the operations of French armed forces overseas -mostly in Africa's Sahel region, Iraq and Syria.

"I have never defended (the idea of) Eurobonds or the mutualization of existing debt in the eurozone", he said.

Mr Macron is also hoping to reform France's economy, he promised Ms Merkel he would implement the changes to bolster its position in the EU.

The pope's telegram urged Macron to "always take care to build a more just and more fraternal society, with respect to differences and attention to people who are in situations of precariousness or exclusion".

"There are several areas in which we can cooperate in the short term - common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade".

In keeping with Macron's independent centrist line and goal of reshaping French politics, his ministers include both Socialists and conservatives.

Macron and Merkel said they would work together more closely on defense, Euro zone reform and reducing bureaucracy.

But the proposals have sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin, and initial relief about his victory against far-right leader Marine Le Pen had quickly given way to fears about his reform plans.

Mr Macron is the conservative Mrs Merkel's fourth French president in almost 12 years as chancellor.

  • Zachary Reyes