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Fifty years of Franco-German reconciliation

Fifty years of Franco-German reconciliation
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France and Germany have been honouring 50 years of reconciliation.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Reims in France’s champagne region – where in 1962 their predecessors Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer officially turned the page on the second World War.

After the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, the two attended a special service inside Reims Cathedral, again following a pattern set half a century earlier.

The meeting between De Gaulle and Adenauer was a turning point in relations between the two countries that are now seen as the engine of Europe. However differences between Hollande and Merkel over how to tackle the eurozone’s financial crisis have put a strain on relations of late.

Hollande wants to see more spending to boost growth – a view that is garnering more and more support – while Merkel is reluctant to give up her austerity mantra.