Merkel: British EU immigration cap would have price

Germany and France plan to closely cooperate while the European Union is going through critical times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, TASS reported.

Mr Macron's trip to Berlin highlighted his pro-European politics and desire to work with Mrs Merkel on what he says must become "a more efficient Europe, a more democratic Europe, a more political Europe".

Although he won the May 7 election against National Front candidate Marine Le Pen with 66% of the vote, his party was only founded previous year and has never held a single National Assembly seat.

"They're trying to make a consensus government in order to get things done, so for the moment I'll give Macron the benefit of the doubt", said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.

A future cap on immigration by European Union citizens to Britain would come at a price for the U.K.'s relations with the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

Among reforms he wants to see are setting up a separate budget for the 28-member group, as well as giving it its own parliament and finance minister.

German Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called the reforms and treaty change that would permit such moves as "not realistic".

"And if in this process, there must be institutional changes and new treaties, we are ready", Macron said.

Macron sought to bat away German fears on debt, saying he was opposed to metalizing "old debt" between eurozone countries.

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The two met in Berlin on Mr Macron's first full day in office, which started with him naming 46-year-old Edouard Philippe as his new prime minister.

EDF shares, which were down 2.5 per cent at 9.23 euros just before the announcement, fell further and stood almost five percent down on the day following the news of Mr Hulot's nomination.

Macron, a newcomer to worldwide diplomacy, put counter-terrorism at the top of his security priorities during the election campaign, vowing to strengthen support for West African allies.

Philippe - a moderate member of the Republicans party - is seen as Macron's Trojan horse on the right.

Taking over from outgoing prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve during a short ceremony, Philippe described himself as "a man of the right" who was driven by "the greater good".

On Tuesday, he and Philippe had been expected to finalize and announce a government which Macron says will bridge France's entrenched left-right divide and breathe new life into the country's jaded political landscape.

Relatively unknown outside his northern fiefdom, he has never served in national government. That requires convergence rules, real structural reforms. The center-right parliamentarian has lived in Germany and is a fluent German speaker.

Philippe said that, despite its diversity, the cabinet was built to last, but his assertion is likely to be tested over the coming weeks and months.


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