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Merkollande admit differences but call for unity and growth in the Euro zone

Wednesday, May 16th 2012 - 04:01 UTC
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Hollande and Merkel: not such a complicated fellow after all Hollande and Merkel: not such a complicated fellow after all

Despite their differences over how to drag Europe out of its current economic swamp, German and French leaders pledged to join efforts in reinvigorating growth in the continent during their first meeting on Tuesday.

“We share the responsibility for a good development in Europe and I think we will find solutions for individual problems in this spirit,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference in Berlin.

She made an effort to downplay the differences between her and the French Socialist new president Francois Hollande, who had taken office just hours ago.

The high-profile visit, which was Hollande's first diplomatic trip, was overshadowed by storm that forced his plane to return to Villacoublay military airport and mounting international pressure of a potential Greek Euro zone exit.

However, leaders of the Euro zone's two largest economies expressed their wish for Greece to stay in the single currency bloc.

“We want Greece to stay in the Euro,” said Merkel, adding that Germany and France were prepared “to study the possibility of additional growth measures in Greece” if Athens said they needed them.

Hollande echoed Merkel's opinion, while promoting a growth-driven strategy which was at core of his presidential campaign.

“I hope that we can say to the Greeks that Europe is ready to add measures to help growth and support economic activity so that there is a return to growth in Greece,” Hollande said.

Calling the French-Germany ties as “balanced” and “respectful”, Hollande said that “everything should be put on the table” at the forthcoming informal summit of EU leaders in Brussels due on May 23.

In addition, Hollande also affirmed his wish for a renegotiation of the EU fiscal pact. “I said it during my election campaign and I say it again now as president that I want to renegotiate what has been agreed to include a growth dimension.”

Though opposed to any change of the EU fiscal pact, which has been ratified in several of EU member states, Merkel made it a point to send a signal of unity.

“Growth has to feed through to the people. And that's why I'm happy that we'll discuss different ideas on how to achieve growth,” Merkel said.

Following the visit to Germany, Hollande is due to fly to Washington later in the week to meet US President Barack Obama at the G8 meeting scheduled for May 18-19 at Camp David of the US presidential retreat, as well as NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Paradox


    May 16th, 2012 - 09:48 pm 0
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