Hollande gets a warm welcome from Merkel

The outgoing French President has paid a farewell visit to Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Hollande gets a warm welcome from Merkel

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Outgoing French President Francois Hollande has paid a farewell visit to Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

His successor Emmanuel Macron was elected France’s new president on Sunday.

Dinner à deux

Merkel received Hollande on Monday evening for dinner at the chancellor’s office.

No press conferences or statements were planned for after their encounter.

Differences of opinion

Politicians in Berlin were highly critical of the pace of Hollande’s reform drive for much of 2014.

The French, meanwhile, pressed Germany to invest more public money in infrastructure and other areas.

In March 2015, the leaders of both countries announced plans to work more closely on economic and security issues after years of strain.

The feeling was the tragedies of the Charlie Hebdo killings and air crash in the French Alps had brought them closer.

Merkel and Macron

Merkel says she is “delighted” about the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential election on Sunday.

“Macron carries the hopes of millions of French people and of many people in Germany,” Merkel said.

The 39-year-old pro-business centrist ran on an unashamedly pro-European platform.

Macron urged the French to work with Germany to relaunch the European Union.

His election is likely to be a relief for European allies who had feared another populist upheaval like the UK’s vote to leave the EU or Donald Trump’s election as US president.

Germany’s election

France is not the only country with a national election this year.

Germans will elect a new federal parliament on September 24.

Merkel’s conservative Christian-Democrats (CDU) have opened a seven-point lead over the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), according to recent research.