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Eleena Tovar | 19 May, 2017, 19:54

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's new President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday to give a new impetus to Europe, saying they were ready to even change European Union treaties if necessary.

Underlining concerns over Macron's proposals, Germany's biggest selling daily Bild warned that before seeking deeper European Union integration, "France must once again be at the same level as Germany politically and economically". "It will no longer be the case".

In another nod to the importance of Europe for Macron, Sylvie Goulard, a centrist lawmaker in the European Parliament who speaks four languages and is better known in Brussels than in Paris, was named defence minister.

Eurozone markets were meanwhile buoyed by talks between the bloc's main powers, Germany and France, which may open the door to changing treaties to facilitate ambitious reform.

Macron becomes the fourth French leader Merkel has welcomed in the German capital since she took power in 2005.

France's United Kingdom ambassador, Sylvie Bermann added Mr Macron wants the "reconstruction of Europe" and will work alongside Germany to achieve that.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office is delaying the announcement of the new government while authorities check the tax records and backgrounds of potential ministers.

"The starting point for some Germans is, 'Why should we pay the French to do what they should have done 10 years ago?' But they also know they need some help running Europe".

Visiting Berlin on Monday, Macron "did not push for major, ambitious reforms (of the EU) because he knows the chancellor can not deliver until the elections in September", said Judy Dempsey of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.

But the proposals have sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin, and initial relief about his victory against far-right leader Marine Le Pen had quickly given way to fears about his reform plans.

Christophe Castaner, Mr Macron's campaign spokesman, said on Sunday this was the kind of tough choice that would have to be made in Mr Macron's inner circle now that the battle for the presidential Elysee Palace was won.

Alain Juppe, a former French prime minister, called Mr Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

For interior minister, Macron picked Gerard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon who was one of the first Socialists to support him.

Mr Macron wants to smash the left-right divide which has dominated France for decades, and his start-up centrist Republic on the Move (REM) party (formerly called En Marche), which is just a year old, needs to forge a wide base of support.

Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon said that Philippe's appointment as premier showed the right had been "annexed" by the tentacular Macron.

Merkel said they had "a common understanding that we can't just focus on Britain leaving the European Union".

Le Drian is expected to be the only member of the outgoing Socialist government to be kept on, with Macron keeping a careful distance from the little-loved administration of his predecessor Francois Hollande.