Date: Tuesday 15 May 2012
LONDON (ShareCast) - As François Hollande is sworn in as President on Tuesday morning in France, it seems fitting that the first major task of the man who won the elections by criticising his rival Nicolas Sarkozys acceptance of the 'harsh' austerity measures 'imposed' by Germany will be to meet his German counterpart.
He is wasting little time as he prepares to butt heads with the Queen of fiscal responsibility Angela Merkel. The new French President is scheduled to meet the German Chancellor this evening at 18:30 in Berlin.
Hollande and his socialist party have not been shy to take Merkels strict stance on spending cuts to the mat often stating that Germany is not the only country that will decide Europes future.
As recently as last weekend, Hollandes party spokesman openly declared on French television that we did not vote for there to be a president of the European Union named Mrs Merkel who decides on the fate of all others. While considering this blunt attack, it should be noted that the German Chancellor openly backed Sarkozy in the French presidential elections.
In the official political jargon, the meeting has been scheduled so the two leaders can get to know each other. Reading between the lines, both politicians are likely to attempt to heal old wounds and lay out their own points of view.
While Hollande will stress the need for the so-called growth compact, Merkel will recognise the importance of a strong economy but continue to insist on fiscal responsibility. Its no new news that Germany staunchly opposes what it considers to be artificial growth through increased spending.
Furthermore, Hollande has made it clear that he wishes to renegotiate the fiscal compact. Most analysts feel that is a longer term project and for the moment are certain that Merkel will be loud and clear: Nein.