Hollande-Merkel meeting leaves debate on growth raging

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Hollande-Merkel meeting leaves debate on growth raging

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Politicians and analysts have been giving their reactions to yesterday’s first meeting between Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande in Berlin.

Franco-German differences over the eurozone crisis were put aside as the two leaders stressed their common purpose.

MEPs on both sides of the argument are putting their case.

“In Brussels we expect both leading powers of the eurozone, Germany and France, to come to a conclusion,” said Elmar Brok EPP from the European People’s Party and a member of Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU. “The fiscal pact is not renegotiable. On the other hand it is clear: we have to strengthen economic growth by structural measures to become more competitive. But it must be clear: this must not lead to more debt!”

In contrast, another German MEP wanted the French leader to take Merkel on:
“Francois Hollande made it very clear in his campaign: he wants to create more jobs, he wants to create higher growth. The Merkozy-package has to be corrected! And we support him in doing so!” said Udo Bullmann, an MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and a member of the German opposition SPD.

President Hollande said he was ready to put all issues on the table at the next meetings on the euro crisis, including those known to raise hackles in Berlin.

The extent to which both leaders are ready for showdown or compromise should soon become clear.