Thursday, May 10, 2012

Merkel schools Hollande

IF the new president of France thinks he can go on a spending spree, Germany has other ideas. I suspect Hollander will find his fiscal hands tied. 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. “Germany is not here to finance French election promises,” said Merkel’s parliamentary party leader Volker Kauder. Hollande’s chief economic adviser insisted he was not about to simply “hand out money” and planned to balance the books. Moscovici would not discuss what demands and compromises Hollande could offer Merkel on May 16, saying only that both parties were conscious of the need to find common ground.

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