Zone euro : "Nous avons une base très solide avec l’accord de Meseberg"
M. Bruno Le Maire a participé à la réunion de l’Eurogroupe et au conseil ECOFIN qui se sont déroulés à Bruxelles les 12 et 13 juillet.
Le 12 juillet, à l’Eurogroupe, les ministres sont revenus sur le sommet de la zone euro du 29 juin. Les ministres ont en outre échangé sur la situation économique de la zone euro sur la base des prévisions économiques intermédiaires présentées par la Commission ce matin.
Le 13 juillet, lors de l’ECOFIN, il a été abordé différentes questions fiscales notamment la réponse à la réforme fiscale américaine et le projet de directive sur la TVA applicable aux publications électroniques. Le ministre autrichien a par ailleurs présenté les priorités de sa présidence dans le cadre de l’ECOFIN pour le semestre à venir, y compris le projet de juste taxation du numérique qui doit aboutir d’ici la fin de l’année. Les ministres ont de plus discuté des suites à donner au précédent Conseil européen et ont préparé le G20 de Buenos Aires.
Parallèlement à ces réunions, le ministre s’est entretenu avec certains de ses homologues sur les sujets de réforme de la zone euro, mais aussi sur la fiscalité numérique et la réponse à apporter à la politique fiscale mise en place aux États-Unis. Il a rencontré Pierre Moscovici, Commissaire européen aux Affaires économiques et monétaires, à la Fiscalité et à l’Union douanière, Giovanni Tria, ministre de l’Economie et des Finances de la République italienne, Nadia Calviño, ministre espagnole de l’Économie et des Entreprises d’Espagne, et Olaf Scholz, Vice-chancelier et ministre des Finances de la République fédérale d’Allemagne, avec lequel il a tenu un point presse commun./.
Déclaration conjointe de MM. Bruno Le Maire et Olaf Scholz à leur arrivée au conseil ECOFIN (Bruxelles, 13 juillet 2018)
M. Bruno Le Maire : "I just wanted to say you a few words with Olaf Scholz after yesterday’s useful Eurogroup : we are really on the right track for the improvement of the Eurozone. We have a very solid basis with the Meseberg agreement, which is a historical agreement on which we can work.
I found yesterday that all the members of the Eurogroup are really willing to follow on to improve the Eurozone and to work on all the topics that are on the table. We have a really clear framework, we have to work on the banking union backstop, we have to work on a roadmap for EDIS, we have to work on the Eurozone budget, so we have all the topics on the table.
We also have a very clear agenda because we are all fully aware that there is a very limited period of time to move on, there is a unique window of opportunity between September and next Christmas to obtain real deliverables and agree concrete steps for the improvement and the reinforcement of the Eurozone. I really think it was a good Eurogroup, we are on the right track, we have a solid basis with the Meseberg agreement, we are keen on working with our partners to improve that basis and to have that reinforcement the Eurozone.
You said there are lots of EU members willing to go forward, do you really feel a lot of support ?
M. Bruno Le Maire : Yes, I really think so. Of course, there are different views on different topics. We are 19 member States, we have different views, we have that basis, we have a very clear framework and I really think there is a common willingness to move forward. So that’s why I really think that we are on the right track. And the Meseberg agreement is not a “take it or leave it” agreement, it has to be improved and that is what we will do during the coming months.
The 5% of selling on NPLs for banks is a is a precondition to move forward for the backstop or not ?
M. Olaf Scholz : It is the international agreement about what should be the aim for any country in the world. So, there is nothing which came out of the blue. It is what is reasonable and I think it will be part of the agenda. We need something which is a combination of increasing the safety of our banking system and its stability and on the other hand, supporting the network so the stability is coming from that. And both are part of a common agenda so you have to get one and the other and I think this is what makes the proposal we made so convincing – I think – in the end for many others. It is what it is dealing with both parts of the agenda.
But what will you achieve first ? The 5% or the backstop ?
M. Olaf Scholz : I think it is one (1) agenda. If we want to get progress, we have to understand that it is necessary to be successful on all the different parts of the agenda that have to be worked out. We will do it. Let me just say one more sentence about the situation we are in. I think all of us knows that progress in Europe is absolutely necessary, especially after the NATO meeting. I think everyone has learnt that cooperation is the only way we can have success for our people. This is what is our task as ministers and those who are responsible on the European agenda and I am quite confident that we will get the necessary success. And there is a short time left, because it is necessary that we get the most important steps for the progress within this year. Next year, we will have elections for the European Parliament and this is not an argument not to work that year, but it is better we get the necessary progress in the coming months.
Talking about cooperation, I have a question on tariffs : is there a joint position between France and Germany if the US start imposing new tariffs on cars ?
M. Olaf Scholz : The most important cooperation is the European one, and all of us have told the United States that it is necessary that they talk to the European Union. So we are working together in the framework of the European Union. It is the EU that is responsible for tariff questions.
M. Bruno Le Maire : Just to recall you that I had the opportunity to talk to Peter Altmaier on Wednesday about the question of tariffs and trade. And as Olaf said, there is unity among the EU Member States, and we are fully determined to keep that unity among the EU Member States. Nobody will divide France and Germany, never, never, never. And nobody will divide the EU Member States. Everybody is aware that the unity of the European countries is the right response to the rise on tariffs"./.