“Germany cannot decide for entire Europe”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told socialist frontrunner in France's presidential race Franois Hollande that a strict fiscal discipline must continue.Source: Tanjug
"It's not Germany that's going to decide for all of Europe," Hollande said, after Merkel repeated her position that the fiscal pact was not up for renegotiation.
Merkel has supported France’s current President Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential race since the very beginning.
German media point out that she is the first chancellor to be actively involved in another country’s election campaign.
Merkel has decisively rejected Hollande’s request to renegotiate the eurozone fiscal pact.
The fiscal pact, clinched after marathon talks by EU leaders in March, is a German-inspired accord that aims to combat the crisis via austerity which was signed by all 27 EU countries except Britain and the Czech Republic.
One of the pillars of Hollande's campaign has been calling for the pact to be renegotiated to include measures for growth and he has vowed to veto it if he considers such moves insufficient, AFP says.
Hollande threatens he could jeopardize Germany’s leading role in Europe.
"Lots of countries today are waiting for France's decision, because we aren't any old country in Europe, we're a leading country in Europe and what the French people are going to do will considerably change the order," he said.
“I will tell that the French people have chosen to renegotiate the pact,” he stressed.
“Without calling into question the seriousness of the budget, the discipline, I will say that cannot be achieved the objectives set if there is no economic growth”, Hollande added.
Merkel stressed that her country would have a good cooperation with whoever won the French presidential elections, explaining that this was in accordance with France and Germany’s responsibility.
When asked about her support to Sarkozy, she noted that they belonged to the same “family of parties” and added that the two of them had done plenty to resolve the dept crisis and had been committed to Europe’s wellbeing.