PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron said that Western countries including Germany should discuss ways to stimulate their economies at a G7 meeting this weekend amid fresh fears of recession.
"We need to ask ourselves the question in countries that have the capacity about the need for budgetary stimulus. It's an issue for Europe, for France... for Germany and other countries," he told reporters in Paris.
France is eager for Germany to increase its public spending to combat its economic downturn, but Berlin is highly resistant to the idea of raising its borrowing and public debt.
The G7 meeting will come at a tricky time for Macron's relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to leave office in 2021 but who the French president wanted to cultivate as an ally in reforming Europe. Tensions have flared over Brexit, where Berlin has generally preferred a softer line than Paris, as well as budget policy where Merkel was unhappy over France's decision to increase its budget deficit.
Merkel has always resisted Macron's call for a large shared budget for members of the eurozone which would finance infrastructure and other investments in weak members of the currency area.?