While merkel in front of the 50. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the franco-german reconciliation meeting in reims on sunday, hollande called for joint action in the euro debt crisis and reaffirmed the break with the policy of his predecessor nicolas sarkozy.
"We must not see our relationship as a leadership body that ensures that france and germany alone decide for europe," hollande told the french regional newspaper "L’union" (saturday). Together with merkel he has the duty to put the common interests of both countries in the service of all of europe.
In her weekly video message released on saturday, the chancellor underlined the importance of the relations between the two countries for the whole of europe. In 1962, charles de gaulle and konrad adenauer had recognized that the german-french friendship was an indispensable step on the way to a united europe. "This is exactly what we – germany and france – are working on together. And we are doing the same in view of the current challenges."
The two statesmen had shown courage and foresight at the time, the chancellor went on to say. "They put aside the concerns of many and dared a new beginning, a unique new beginning, which has led internationally to one of the most important friendships – the german-french friendship."
In the euro crisis, merkel and hollande recently took different views on the best way out. While merkel pursues a strict austerity policy, hollande is prepared to spend more to stimulate the economy.
Hollande again criticized the course of franco-german EU policy under the duo of merkel and sarkozy. "I’m not sure it was wanted (…), but sometimes certain countries could feel marginalized or they were forced to accept a compromise that had already been worked out by our two countries," said the first socialist to head france’s government since 1995.
The current crisis in europe requires a joint and well-coordinated approach by france and germany, according to the grunes. "There can only be a common european path that leads to even more with each other instead of against each other," declared federal chairpersons claudia roth and cem ozdemir, according to their party’s statements.
Merkel and president hollande commemorate the franco-german "reconciliation mass" in reims 50 years ago – 17 years after the end of the second world war. The joint visit to the cathedral is the start of a year-long festive program. Celebrations follow to mark the anniversary of the signing of the franco-german friendship treaty (elysee treaty) in january 2013 and the founding of the franco-german youth organization in july 2013.