World

Germany's Merkel Advocates German-French Cooperation in Meeting With Macron

Germany's Merkel Advocates German-French Cooperation in Meeting With Macron

Macron, on his first full day as president, was in Berlin on Monday (15 May) a day after he pledged to "relaunch" Europe at his inauguration, with a joint budget, parliament and finance minister.

Mrs Merkel called Mr Macron's visit an honour and a sign of the deep friendship between the two European powerhouses.

"Today, we exchanged views and agreed to cooperate closely", Merkel said. She added: "Germany's future lies in Europe".

"I am happy that we can work together on a common roadmap for the European Union and the Euro Zone", he said.

About potential changes on the main EU treaties, Merkel said the union can not resist the transformations across the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron will hold talks with European Council President Donald Tusk over lunch on Wednesday, the French presidency said in a statement.

Some 2.3 million people from the former Soviet Union arrived in Germany over the past two decades.

"We share the common conviction that we can not only focus on Great Britain's departure from the European Union, but rather we have to discuss ways to deepen our cooperation among the remaining members of the European Union, among the members of the Eurozone", she said.

Germany, which has Europe's biggest economy, has vehemently opposed taking direct responsibility for weaker eurozone countries' debts.

Macron appointed a mix of political hues to the top jobs as part of his promise to bridge the right-left divide.

Mr Philippe is the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers.

Philippe has been presented as his Trojan horse on the right of the spectrum.

Some in the party have argued in favour of an alliance with Macron.




But not everyone was pleased with the Philippe announcement.

In Berlin, the 39-year-old French leader urged a "historic reconstruction" of Europe to battle populism sweeping the continent, following his defeat of far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Defeated by a Macron landslide, she denounced what she predicted would be a continuation of old policies, including "austerity, submission to Brussels, massive immigration".

"The French elections.have shown the Germans once more what a treasure Europe is and how important German-French cooperation and friendship is for this treasure", Ms. Merkel said in a joint news conference with Mr. Macron at the Chancellery in Berlin.

His appointment is a further blow to the Republicans, who have been trying to regroup after the presidential vote and prevent defections to Macron's camp.

Any candidate who wins more than 12.5 percent of registered voters in the first round goes through to a decisive second round on June 18.

Merkel has hailed Macron's win as a blow for populism.

"A minister doesn't set conditions for a president or a prime minister", he told reporters, adding that Hulot will have to stick to Macron's programme.

"I don't underestimate the difficulty that implies", Mr. Macron said.

But just who is Macron's new right-hand man?

As the new French leader received military honours outside Merkel's chancellory, crowds outside the gate chanted his name.

By contrast, Socialist President Francois Hollande had confidence ratings of 58 percent when he took office in May 2012, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy 59 percent in 2007, Jacques Chirac 53 percent when re-elected in 2002 and 61 percent when he was first elected in 1995.

There is a genuine hope here that the French-German relationship, once so fundamental to the European Project, can be rekindled.


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