Germany-France: Hollande-Merkel: forced to succeed
15 May 2012
Le Figaro, La Croix, Süddeutsche Zeitung
"Merkel-Hollande: Reinventing Europe" says political scientist Anne-Marie Le Gloannec in Le Figaro, summarising the challenge facing the new French president and German chancellor, who will meet in Berlin for the first time on May 15. However, "a number of unknowns remain and there are storm clouds gathering over head".
The unknowns concern the willingness of the new president to cut spending ... and also François Hollande's ability to change his position on Eurobonds and alter the role of the ECB.
However, Anne-Marie Le Gloannec, says "some compromises seem possible: the treaty [the fiscal pact] will not be renegotiated but rather, they will agree a pact on structural growth, both for Europe and for France, which François Hollande has already broadly sketched."
The two leaders will "become closer", adds La Croix, saying -
Principles first: in a united Europe, nothing is possible if France and Germany disagree. Pragmatism, too... The political crisis in Greece means that we cannot afford to get lost in quarrels over principle. A little realism is required about the inner workings of each country.
From the German perspective, Süddeutschte Zeitung asks -
Is this the end of the Franco-German partnership? Not at all! Hollande will be moderate, Merkel will move. ... François Hollande does not have the vision of Napoleon or Mitterrand.
In another comment piece, the daily adds that François Hollande is -
a new chance for Merkel. [They] will be remembered as the people who ensured the survival of the euro or who masterminded its demise. They are forced to succeed from their first meeting. This pressure should give hope to all of Europe.