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Hollande suggests changes in Europe on economic revamp


08:18, May 17, 2013

PARIS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Thursday called for the establishment of an economic government for eurozone as a step to further budgetary integration in the bloc.

At his second major press conference with local and foreign media, Hollande unveiled his roadmap to help the eurozone emerge from "its languor" and boost its economies mired into recession.

"The financial crisis is behind us. The causes have been curbed. What's striking Europe now is not the financial crisis, but recession caused by austerity policies," the president said.

The Socialist head of state called for stronger fiscal and political integration, because without stronger ties, "Europe is doomed to fall, to disappear from the map and even in the imagination of people."

With the aim, Hollande suggested an economic government for eurozone to "discuss the major economic decisions, harmonize tax policy, act on the convergence of social affairs and undertake a plan to fight against tax evasion."

With an appointed president, the proposed eurozone government would meet monthly to shed light on main economic developments in the single-currency bloc, said Hollande.

As part of his revamp plan for the eurozone, the president wanted more attention on youth by launching a common initiative focusing on future generations with a plan for better integration of young people.

"Let's mobilize immediately 6 billion euros (7.7 billion U.S. dollars) provided by the European Union, instead of waiting for the financial framework in 2014," he proposed.

"In the framework of this initiative for the future, Europe will define an investment strategy, including new industries and communication technology," he detailed.

Hollande also called for the establishment of a "European energy community" to "coordinate all efforts for renewables."

Elected in May 2012, the Socialist president made it clear that he stands firm for greater economic stimulus in Europe to help cut deficit and unemployment and solve the eurozone debt crisis on which Germany should not have the only say.

Hollande admitted that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not have the same political persuasion but they need to work together to lead Europe, and they must find consensus for eurozone crisis.

Hollande believed that as the second largest European economy, France plays a very positive role in promoting an integrated Europe. He saw his country as a bridge to connect the North and the South of Europe.

The press conference marked the first year in power for Hollande, who has suffered record low popularity ratings.

He said he wanted the French to regain confidence in the government.

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