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Germany's SPD leader calls for euro zone budget ahead of Merkel meeting

[BERLIN] Germany's Social Democrat (SPD) leader, who is expected to enter talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on forming a coalition government, said on Wednesday Europe needed a joint finance minister and a euro zone budget for more investment.

"If we want Europe to remain strong in the long term, then we also must enable it to act and ensure people see a tangible difference in their lives," SPD leader Martin Schulz told a business conference.

To reach this goal, Europe needs a euro zone budget for more investment and a joint European finance minister, Mr Schulz said in reference to French President Emmanuel Macron's euro zone reform proposals.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will host a joint meeting on Thursday between Chancellor Angela Merkel, her Bavarian conservative ally Horst Seehofer and Mr Schulz as part of his efforts to facilitate the formation of a stable government.


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