May 22, 2013
'We won't finance French election promises,' Merkel's parliamentary party leader
Francois Hollande's election as French president was greeted by jitters on European markets and a dour front in Berlin where ruling conservatives warned the Socialist that Germans were not ready to pay for his promises of an end to austerity.
"Germany is not here to finance French election promises," said Merkel's parliamentary party leader Volker Kauder.Hollande spent the day closeted with aides who said they reviewed how he may pitch "the priority for growth in Europe" to Chancellor Angela Merkel. They will meet for the first time next week in Berlin to relaunch the Franco-German partnership that lies at the heart of the European Union and the euro currency.
"I must prepare myself," said Hollande, who has never been a minister and is little known outside France. "I said that I was ready and now I must make sure I am, completely."A promise of a welcome with "open arms" in Berlin could not conceal unease among Merkel's Christian Democrats about what Hollande's centre-left campaign pledges of growth and state spending mean for efforts to contain deficits in a euro zone that is struggling to compete in a world of new economic powers.
Hollande's chief economic adviser insisted he was not about to simply "hand out money" and planned to balance the books.