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The ups and downs of Franco-German harmony


The ups and downs of Franco-German harmony


French President François Hollande has demonstrated his country’s close ties with Germany by delivering the keynote speech at an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the German opposition Social Democratic Party.

The SPD is closer to Hollande’s Socialist Party in policy and ideology.

But the Franco-German alliance, often described as the motor of EU integration, has been known to overcome political differences in the past.

Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy was so close to Chancellor Angela Merkel, that the pair became known as “Merkozy.”

Now the bonds between the two nations that have held Europe together are in danger of breaking.

France faces a bleak economic future: the country is mired in recession with an unemployment rate of 11 percent.

Meanwhile, Germany’s GDP is expected to grow by 0.5 percent this…even in these tough times.

Hollande and Merkel fail to see eye to eye on how to retool Europe’s economy and deal with the continent’s debt crisis, as one Brussels-based expert explains.

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