|Date: 07/05/2012 Time: 10:20:00 PM
President-elect Francois Hollande of France will
head almost immediately after his investiture May 15 to Berlin to hold talks
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hollande's campaign manager Pierre
Moscovici said Monday.
Speaking on "France 2" Television, Moscovici said the new French president,
elected on Sunday, would go to Germany "the day after" he officially takes
He said Merkel was "the first to call to congratulate" Hollande on his
election victory over Nicolas Sarkozy, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent on Sunday.
The meeting between the French and German leaders is considered crucial as
Hollande has said he will ask for a review of a European Union Treaty on
fiscal and budgetary discipline and he maintains this Treaty must be
negotiated to include provisions to promote economic growth.
He also wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to play a more active role in
promoting economic vitality, particularly through financing EU members through
Merkel has said the Treaty is "not negotiable" and is necessary to instil
budgetary discipline and curtail spending and deficits in Euro zone countries,
several of them heavily indebted with massive budget deficits.
Germany and France, the two largest EU economies, traditionally form a
solid tandem for pushing policy forward in the 27-nation group and any
divergence between them would likely weaken the euro and affect European plans
for greater integration.
Moscovici told French television that Germany was "one priority" for
Hollande but there were others.
He noted that criticism of Hollande's lack of international experience was
unfounded and many international leaders had called to congratulate him on his
election, a move that is considered protocol in any event.
US President Barrack Obama and a number of other world leaders placed calls
to Hollande on Sunday night and the US and Chinese ambassadors to France
called upon him at his campaign headquarters here on Monday.
Hollande is expected to meet Obama later this month when the French
President heads to the US to attend the NATO summit May 20-21 where he is
expected to announce the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan before
the end of 2012.