‘Merkel and Hollande will do anything to save euro’ [RT]
May 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Despite their major differences, France’s newly-elected leader, François Hollande, and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, have shown signs that compromise between the eurozone’s largest economies is possible.
Hollande met with Merkel in Berlin on his first trip as president on Tuesday to discuss proposals for generating economic growth in Europe. He set off immediately after his inauguration but the trip did not go smoothly as his plane was struck by lightning, forcing him to return to Paris to change planes.
As RT’s Peter Oliver reports from the German capital, there were no real political bombshells at the meeting, though the two did not try to cover up their differences.
The socialist Hollande once again stressed his commitment to growth as opposed to the conservative Merkel’s austerity-led approach to tackling Europe’s debt crisis. He said that everything that could promote growth in Europe must be put on the table by everyone.
During his presidential campaign, he also called for the European budget-discipline pact pushed by Merkel to be renegotiated. When asked if he still demands renegotiation, he said he would be able to answer the question “at the end of this work.”
Merkel, who backed then-president Nicolas Sarkozy in the French elections, has argued that growth needs to be generated by structural reform instead of relying on greater government spending.
However, she said that her differences with Hollande have been overplayed. “We are aware of our responsibility, as Germany and France, for good development in Europe,” Merkel said. “Carried by this spirit, I believe we will of course find solutions to the different problems.”
Hollande said he wants to work with Germany“for the good of Europe” and that he envisions “a balanced and respectful relationship.”