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Hollande set for EU summit clash with Merkel

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Hollande set for EU summit clash with Merkel


Europe’s leaders meet today in Brussels for a get together dubbed the ‘Growth Summit’. While the idea is to discuss ways of promoting jobs and stimulating EU economies, its eurozone bonds which are set to dominate.

Since the first meeting between France’s new president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, today’s talks have been billed as a clash of strategies.

While Merkel sees austerity measures and tighter fiscal control as reflected in the Stability Pact being the way out of the current debt crisis, Hollande is pushing for an alternative view.

Elected on emphasising growth and easing up on cuts, he also wants to pool the debt of eurozone countries into an all-embracing eurobonds. For Merkel it amounts to a licence to print money.

Also on the agenda – ways to stabilise Europe’s banks which are straining under 180 billion euros of bad debt.

Although no firm decisions are expected at this informal summit the interest lies in how the traditional Franco-German axis will bear up.

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