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>> A looming trade war with the US, eurosceptic, populist, and anti-immigration parties on the rise, look no further than Italy, and of course Brexit. The European Union is fighting fires on many fronts.>>
>> And now Angela Merkel has laid out in more detail than ever what she thinks those decisions should be. She was responding to the EU overhaul vision of French president Emmanuel Macron. As leaders of the eurozone's two biggest economies, they are the likely architects of the EU's future and will present a joint plan at a summit later this month.
And as Reuters' Noah Barkin explains, Merkel needs more than ever to present a united front.>> If you look around the world, Trump is threatening a trade conflict. Germany is the most vulnerable to any sort of conflict with the United States on trade. Just last week, we got two anti-austerity governments coming in, in Italy and Spain.
The British are leaving the EU, so Germany doesn't have a lot of friends out there at the moment. And Merkel really needs Macron, and she needs Europe to show a united front towards Trump.>> And that's perhaps why she's made concessions, albeit small ones, to Macron's ideas.>>
>> Backing for example a eurozone investment budget, a European intervention force, and turning the eurozone's bailout mechanism into a European monetary fund. That fund could offer short term loans to countries suffering economic stress. And it's an idea that's worried conservative hardliners in the Bundestag and Merkel's own party.
The German taxpayers' money could be used to bail out more profligate countries. If France and Germany do create a united vision, there's still one more problem.>> If we do get a Franco-German deal, will other countries go along with that deal, especially a new eurosceptic, populist government in Italy?