Macron's new centrist party stretches lead, survey shows

Mr Macron used a visit to the German capital to meet the veteran leader in his first official trip overseas, to call for a "historic reconstruction" of Europe.

For his part, Mr. Macron is asking Ms. Merkel to pool eurozone government funds into a shared budget that could be used to support members of the currency area in economic distress.

Le Pen's defeat to Macron on May 7 had raised questions about her leadership of the National Front and aides had said over the past days she had not yet decided if she would stand for parliament in her northern fiefdom of Henin-Beaumont, where she narrowly lost in 2012.

Merkel made clear that she was prepared to be open to fundamental reforms and treaty changes. "I would be ready to do this, but first we will work on what we want to reform".

French President Emmanuel Macron's office is delaying the announcement of the new government while authorities check the tax records and backgrounds of potential ministers.

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

But at a joint press conference following their talks on Monday, Dr Merkel adopted a conciliatory tone and offered what appeared to be a key concession.


"It will no longer be the case", Macron said, with Merkel affirming her commitment to rework the treaties where necessary, adding that she had been "irked" by those who said treaty change was not possible. Euobserver reports in its article Macron and Merkel to "reconstruct" the European Union that two leaders have the "common conviction that [they] should not only deal with the United Kingdom exit" but that they should think of how to "deepen" and "strengthen" the European Union and the eurozone.

Having been an advisor and economy minister under his predecessor as president, Socialist Francois Hollande, Macron was accused by his critics of being too left-wing during the vicious election campaign.

Richard Ferrand, the former Socialist who helped Macron create his party, spent two years at high school in Germany.

He denied being in favour of making all countries that use the euro liable for other individual countries' existing debt. However, he signalled readiness to look at sharing future burdens. The two leaders said that they would hold a Franco-German ministerial meeting in July to work on common proposals to reform the European Union, including initiatives to have converging tax rules.

Any reforms would likely still have to be held off until after September, when Merkel faces reelection.

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". By appointing him, Macron has passed over loyal followers such as Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Mr Macron's cause past year and is secretary general of REM.

Cannon, however, said the conflict is a thing of the past.


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