BERLIN, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Christian Social Union (CSU) have backtracked on earlier German assurances to support French plans for swift and far-reaching Eurozone reforms on Thursday.
"I do not believe that we can achieve any substantial progress until the end of June," Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU), CDU/CSU parliamentary faction vice-president told press.
Brinkhaus said that he did not understand the urgency of French President Emmanuel Macron to achieve reforms with Eurozone reform prior to the next European parliamentary elections in 2019.
The CDU delegate argued that it was better to wait until a new European Union (EU) Commission had been formed before launching a reform agenda instead of settling for a "poor compromise" in the interim.
He emphasized that the CDU/CSU was not principally opposed to further development of the Eurozone but would insist on ensuring that the right framework conditions for change were established first.
At the same time, however, Brinkhaus departed from earlier supportive comments made by German Chancellor and CDU party leader Angela Merkel by opposing plans to transform the existing European Stability Mechanism into a permanent European Monetary Fund (EMF).
The CDU/CSU parliamentary faction vice-president criticized a lack of guarantees that transfers of European funds by the EMF would be tied to conditionality and hinge on the approval of national parliaments.
Brinkhaus further expressed scepticism towards ideas for a Eurozone budget to help cushion asymmetric shocks in member states for which he saw "absolutely no necessity", as well as ruling out a new financial backstop at the ESM for ailing Eurozone banks until Southern European financial institutes cleaned up their balance sheets and a Eurozone-wide insolvency law was created.
A shared deposit guarantee scheme in the monetary union was another topic which the CDU/CSU was "very, very far away" from supporting, according to the CDU politician.
The comments made by Brinkhaus underlined remaining divisions between the CDU/CSU and German Social Democrats (SPD) on EU policy. Earlier German Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) announced that Berlin was ready to "finally embrace the hand which Emmanuel Macron has extended with his proposals for the renewal of Europe."
Nevertheless, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz responded on Thursday that he could understand Brinkhaus' concerns in light of Eurosceptic sentiment showcased by parties like the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Alternative for Germany (AfD), as well as by many CDU/CSU delegates in the German federal parliament (Bundestag).
Scholz' noted that 63 CDU/CSU parliamentary rebels had voted against the party line over a third European bailout programme for Greece back in 2015.