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PARIS — French President Francois Hollande called on Thursday for an economic government in the eurozone that would have its own budget, the right to issue debt, a harmonized tax system, and a full-time president.
Speaking at a news conference marking his first year in office, a day after economic data showed France had slipped back into recession, the Socialist leader said he sought to create a full political European Union (EU) within two years.
His proposals seemed likely to encounter stiff resistance from Germany, Europe's leading power, which opposes mutualizing debt among European states and is reluctant to give the eurozone its own secretariat or create new divisions in the EU, of which 10 countries are not in the 17-nation single currency.
It also comes as Britain's government faces growing domestic pressure to hold a referendum on leaving the bloc.
"My initiative has four points that I am putting to our partners. The first is to create an economic government with the eurozone countries which would meet every month with a real president appointed for a long period and who would be devoted to this task," Hollande said.