French Socialists Slam Germany’s Merkel (Video)
A leaked memo by ruling French Socialist Party calls German Chancellor Merkel “selfish” and “obsessed with Germany’s economy and her own political career”, as a criticism of her drive for more belt-tightening measures and the main driver of EU-imposed austerity.
A source in French President Francois Hollande’s office said that the document, released by mistake in April, represented only the party, but did not dispute its central message.
EU debt crisis has strained the cooperation between France and Germany, while the ideologically opposed leaders have disagreed on points of economic policy.
The German government played down the remarks as Senior French politicians sought to calm the waters.
Politicians and businessmen from both sides are urging both countries to show restrain in their rhetoric and co-operate accordingly. Tom Enders, German head of European defense and aerospace company EADS, said “Paris and Berlin must co-operate to avoid Germany finding itself alone against everyone,” in a statement to France’s Le Monde newspaper.
A spokesperson for Angela Merkel said the criticism of the German chancellor by French Socialists was not a reflection of the co-operation between the two governments.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also tried to tone down the criticism by saying “We consider German-French co-operation essential”.
Germany has been pressuring debt-laden EU governments to rein in their growing deficits and focus on fiscal consolidation.
Germany will hold general elections in September, 22 where Merkel’s coalition is on shaky ground, although she personally is popular. Merkel hopes to win a third term as the controller of her current center-right coalition. But the coalition is facing opposition from the Left which is calling for steps to foster growth and from a newly-established anti-euro party.
Image Credit: AP, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and French President Francois Hollande wave to the spectators at the castle in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on September, 2012.