French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
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French President Emmanuel Macron's vision for a stronger European Union may be in tatters as a growing rift emerges with Germany on everything from defense to his plans for deeper eurozone integration.While Macron laid out his lofty reform goals in a passionate speech to the European Parliament, Merkel's own party publicly pushed back against his proposals for a eurozone budget and an expansion of the EU's bailout fund.Merkel nevertheless said she remained convinced both sides would find "common solutions" before an EU summit in June.Merkel's center-left coalition partners, the pro-EU Social Democrats, meanwhile have been more openly supportive of Macron's reform drive.Merkel's party also dismissed Macron's plan for a separate investment budget for the 19-member single currency area, saying it was not "a top priority" when the bloc is still grappling with how to plug the hole that Britain's departure will leave in the wider EU budget.
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