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Hollande's party attacks Merkel ahead of meeting

The Local · 14 May 2012, 08:42

Published: 14 May 2012 08:42 GMT+02:00

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“We were not in the election in order to get a European Union president called Frau Merkel who decides the fate of all others,” said Benoit Hamon, spokesman for Hollande’s Socialist Party on Sunday.

France would be holding out for a new negotiation of the European fiscal pact, “so that the economy regains momentum through growth,” he said in an interview on France 3 television.

Monday’s Handelsblatt reported that Hamon continued to say that Merkel could “not decide alone on the fate of Europe.”

Seemingly dashing German hopes that once in power the Socialists would fall in line with the push for austerity to get the euro crisis under control, Hamon also said that policy had “led to failure” in Greece, and the crisis was spreading. There must be an “end to saving,” he said.

“We want Frau Merkel to hear this message, otherwise the contract [for the fiscal pact] will not be ratified,” he said.

Merkel would have responsibility for any clashes between France and Germany, he concluded.

“She can make promises on behalf of Germany all she wants, but we have a mandate from the French people,” he said.

A central plank of Hollande’s election campaign was to put a brake on the austerity measures in the fiscal pact, and to add a growth element to it – something Merkel has categorically ruled out.

Story continues below…

He is due in Berlin on Tuesday just hours after being sworn in as new French president – something Merkel campaigned against, having had a close working relationship with his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:46 May 14, 2012 by blackboot11
'Call it stormy Monday but Tuesday is just as bad' - by T Bone Walker in 1947
11:32 May 14, 2012 by puisoh
This is typical of the French arrogance .. if it had been so easy 'to grow', they would have grown in the last 30 years, we are not talking about potatoes and lavender here. They only deicde to improve 'growth' after till their bonds and banks are threatened to be downgraded and credit running dry.

Retire at 60, no austerity .. easy .. just keep the printing press going, so they have another reason to scream about inflation or hyper-inflation and flare their French anger on German leaders again.

Save today., spend tomorrow, money does not go out of fashion. That's the only route to prosperity.
13:43 May 14, 2012 by Daktari
I wish Germany would leave the Euro...

Image how long the Eurozone would last WITHOUT Germany... led by France.
14:16 May 14, 2012 by jg.
Hollande can say what he likes but the Germans have all the cards here. The French can either go along with the terms of the fiscal pact as agreed or they can lose the fiscal pact. If it is the latter, then they still won't be able to force Germany to print Euros and they can also expect that France's credit rating will drop further and they will be then paying more to service their own sovereign debt.
14:19 May 14, 2012 by Frenemy
@Daktari: Germany is HIGHLY export dependent, leaving the eurozone would be tantamount to economic suicide.
14:30 May 14, 2012 by smart2012
@Daktari, if Germany leaves EU Germany will be the one to suffer the most. Germany is a country with low demand (people consume very low) and export would be killed by the too high prices of production in Germany. Yes please , recommend it to Merkel, this would be the best step for EU
15:18 May 14, 2012 by soficouvot
How dare you slam France? After all the pain and hardship you inflicted on that country? How you raped it? You shall never speak up against France, which economy by the way involves a bit more than growing potatoes and lavender. And French people could also decide to stop buying Mercedes just to show you who is being arrogant here.
15:21 May 14, 2012 by smart2012
@jg: this is the perfect behaviour which will make EU going apart (with even more drastic consequences). Well done! You r the perfect. It sounds to me we are back in the time, and then guess who will loose?
16:52 May 14, 2012 by soficouvot
If you had said ' and everybody will loose', I'd have replied fair enough (as I am, used to be???, a very ardent europhile), but the tone of the last message is on the same wavelength as the others... and frankly arrogance now is certainly NOT on the French side... (Look more closely lol). I am sick of French bashing and am not the least amused by the general anti-French tones of the German press, which I find unfair and worrying. German's economy is EXPORT LED, do not forget that your strength could become a weakness and you need Europe as much as Europe needs you.
16:52 May 14, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Germany - 1st class ant

France - 2nd class cricket

Greece, Italy, Spain - 1st class cricket
17:07 May 14, 2012 by soficouvot
@SchwabHall, these are are very easy oversimplifications that do not stand up to scrutiny. Again German's economy is based on the crickets' buying German goods... The current crisis is far from only being a spend/not spend problem. Have you forgotten the sub-prime loand crisis coming from the US? The deregulation of markets and the huge housing buble (number 1 cause of the Spanish problem for instance), let's not reframe a complex problem into a virtue/not virtue issue, that's a neo-liberal propaganda taht is sold to you. Unfortunately the current crisis is far more complex and layered that that. Blaming other countries is not going to help anyone... it is just going to anger more and more people. And yes at the end of the decade there probably won't be any Europe to fight for.
18:17 May 14, 2012 by puisoh
@smart2012 .. The Germans are low consumers, that is correct but definitely not less than the French, the French don't even travel outside of their country, afterall they think like the Americans, theirs is God's own heaven.

@soficouvot .. if the French behave sensibly, there is nothing to bash. BTW, the fastest growing markets for German products is not Europe (definitely not depending on FRench to buy Benz), it is the developing new frontiers... Russia included.
18:38 May 14, 2012 by Englishted

I didn't know these countries even played cricket thanks for the info.


Putting your faith in things coming from the East as against democratic Western Europe is a dangerous game to embark on .
18:47 May 14, 2012 by smart2012
@puisoh. Actually the fastest developing markets are in Asia (after turkey) and Audi has just announced they will open a plant in china. Yes, it is good for audi, but not for 99% of Germans
20:10 May 14, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@soficouvot -

These things are indeed very simple:

Greece (and Spain, and Italy and Portugal) have borrowed more money than they can repay. This is the root cause of their problem. Now, nobody who is rational wants to loan them more money, except at much higher interest rates.

The housing crisis, (started in the USA perhaps?) is very simple too. Loaning money to people who really cannot afford to repay the loan.

If /when the USA has trouble paying their $16,000,000,000,000 debt (it grows $50,000,000 every second), it will because USA simply borrowing too much. No need to attack any countries character, military, politics, etc. just borrowing too much $$$.

@ Englishted - They play canasta. Where you been?
21:36 May 14, 2012 by peter douglas
The French have been putting on airs of stability but in real sense they are as indebted as almost the spanish you can,t compare the two economies the French economy is goverment controlled Germany will always be competitive and thus france is a second league.The faster Hollande realises that the better.
22:09 May 14, 2012 by MeinSchwanz
I can't wait for the EU to break apart. Couldn't happen to a more deserving group.
23:35 May 14, 2012 by HelmiVainikka
The fun thing is that people seem to forget that Merkel and her CDU fellas are preparing for a crash landing. They lost in Schleswig Holstein and now got their butts kicked even more massively in NRW.

In addition to that, there is a growing number of people inside Germany that can not stand that "Mother of the Nation" anymore.

Chances of her getting re-elected again are sinking.

So my dear French friends, if you honestly believe that it is the population of Germany who wants "Frau Merkel" to be head of Germany and/or the EU and is backing the nonsense she is pulling, I am guessing it is you who have some ignorance problems.

"And French people could also decide to stop buying Mercedes just to show you who is being arrogant here. "

Then do so and do not let the door hit your butt on the way out, in case you did not hear the shot, the future lies in "lé-Asia". ;)
01:56 May 15, 2012 by mike_1983
so the french socialists dont want merkel to lead europe.... why dont they ask an austrian? maybe one of them could do it better! :p
08:58 May 15, 2012 by siba
It seems that many think Merkel is keen on "governing" Europe. I think if she could she would let it be. She just takes the responsibility which she has to take by representing the biggest economy in Europe. To blame Germany for anything in this situation is just distracting from the own weaknesses, The finance sector has its share of this situation, but also corrupt politicians and bad policies in those countries. In addition to austerity there have to be made investments into the southern European economies but even Merkel is now talking about this step... Step by step.... this will be the approach, not just wild experiments.

All this negativity in these comments and also this local report which has no substance to anything in Europe... Europe is not falling apart. Europe will always be Europe, it is just a question of how strong the Union between the European countries will be. I still see light at the end of the tunnel. Europe is unique and fantastique... there will be a way.
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