Pleas for pragmatism as EU charts post-Brexit future


AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France: Senior European political figures appealed Sunday for the EU to set aside lofty debate as it struggles with Brexit-style populism, and instead to focus on measures which clearly benefit citizens. Leading the charge, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble — a linchpin of the Berlin coalition government — scorned “political sermons”, institutional reform and changes to EU treaties as proposed fixes for Europe’s faultlines. “In principle I am in favor of more integration in Europe,” he told the Welt am Sonntag weekly. “But this is not the time… Europe cannot simply continue as before,” said the 73-year-old veteran minister, long a passionate supporter of the European project. “The situation is so serious that we have to stop playing the usual European and Brussels games,” Schaeuble said. “The EU is facing an acid test, perhaps the greatest in its history.” Schaeuble, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said the EU had to work “with speed and pragmatism” to unlock growth and thus create jobs.



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