Paris: French President-elect Francois Hollande didn`t wait to take office to press his agenda for digging Europe out of economic crisis. He met the European Union president on Wednesday presented his case for joint European bonds and government stimulus to boost growth.
Powerhouse Germany isn`t fond of either idea, at least not now, and wants other European governments to tighten their budgets first.
That has prompted concerns about the Franco-German relationship that has underpinned European cooperation for decades concerns that a senior adviser to the Socialist Hollande and a senior lawmaker in German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s conservative party both sought to downplay today.
France`s election of Hollande on Sunday "will be a factor of unity in Europe," Hollande adviser Pierre Moscovici said. He noted that one of Hollande`s first meetings this week even before he is inaugurated May 15 was with EU President Herman Van Rompuy today.
Hollande will meet tomorrow with Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who also chairs meetings of the eurozone`s 17 finance ministers.
And Hollande will make his first foreign trip after taking office to Berlin, to see Merkel.