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Merkel ‘prepared for Lisbon Treaty changes,’ says Brexit requires EU to be more competitive

Merkel ‘prepared for Lisbon Treaty changes,’ says Brexit requires EU to be more competitive

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would be prepared to back changes to the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, the bloc’s legal cornerstone, if need be. She added that the EU’s states must become more competitive now that Britain has left.

“I could well imagine treaty changes should this be necessary,” Merkel said during a news conference with visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Berlin. “We are required in view of Britain’s exit to strengthen our competitiveness and to act more quickly.”

Kurz said that Austria did not oppose an EU financial transaction tax, but did not approve of the proposal for one made by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, according to Reuters.

Under plans drawn up by Scholz and sent to ministers from nine other EU states, they would levy a financial transaction tax of 0.2 percent of the transaction value of purchases of shares in large companies. Merkel said she regretted that Austria could not agree to the financial transaction tax in its current form.