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Europe

Sarkozy and Merkel issue joint EU election statement

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-01

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have launched a joint bid to urge people to take part in forthcoming European Union elections. French left-wing parties slammed the move as a call to vote for right-wing parties.

Side by side once again, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have joined forces to encourage people to vote in European Union elections.

Polls predict turnout could hit a record low.

In a joint statement published on Sunday in both the German and French press, Merkel and Sarkozy appealed to voters to help create a strong European Parliament capable of tackling the economic crisis.

“To succeed, we need everybody to get involved, especially citizens. That’s why June 7 is such an important date,” they wrote.

The pair also stressed the need to find a way to achieve sustainable budget deficits and boost European industry.

They cautioned against admitting Turkey into the European Union — without naming the country — warning that that the EU needs borders and cannot continue expanding unchecked.

French left-wing parties criticized the statement as a campaign ploy by Sarkozy and Merkel to promote their parties, the French UMP and and the German CDU.

The former leader of the French Socialist Party, François Hollande, said the statement was a "UMP-CDU pamphlet" on the eve of the elections.

"We have to be clear about what this statement really is," said Hollande on Sunday. "It's not a pledge made by two states on future European talks; it's a tract that sums up the political slogans of both parties."

Date created : 2009-06-01

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