Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Second black box found at Air Algérie crash site in Mali

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

Europe

Merkel throws her weight behind Sarkozy

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-07

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made good her promise to support fellow conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election campaign on Monday, by making a series of TV appearances with the leader who has yet to formally announce his candidacy.

REUTERS - German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood by her promise to back Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election campaign on Monday, flanking the French president in two TV appearances and insisting that it was natural to support a fellow conservative.

Merkel's decision to back Sarkozy in the two-round election in April and May - a commitment made even before he has formally announced his candidacy - has raised eyebrows in France, where there is already a feeling that Berlin is calling too many shots in resolving the euro zone crisis.

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy: odd union or best partners?

While opinion polls show many French admire Germany's might as an economic power and exporter through the current crisis, there is still soreness over the fact Germany kept its AAA credit rating when France was downgraded last month.

Merkel's party said last month that she would "actively support" Sarkozy by making joint appearances with him during his campaign, although she would do so as head of her Christian Democrat party and not as German chancellor.

"I support Nicolas Sarkozy in every area because we belong to two friendly political parties," Merkel said during a joint news conference at Sarkozy's presidential palace.

"I find it perfectly natural to support him in a campaign," she said in a subsequent joint TV interview that was broadcast in both countries.

Sarkozy, who plans to launch his re-election bid as close as possible to a March 16 deadline, said he was heartened by the support of somebody he admired and liked but said French people would decide themselves who to vote for on April 22 and May 6.

Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who is way ahead of Sarkozy in opinion polls, quipped during a trip to the central city of Dijon that Merkel had her work cut out. "That's some task she's taken on," he said. "The fact Nicolas Sarkozy needs Mrs. Merkel says a lot about his situation."

First-round support for Hollande has inched up to 30 percent an Ifop-Fiducial poll for the weekly Paris Match showed, with Sarkozy on 23.5 percent, followed by far-right leader Marine Le Pen on 19.5 percent and centrist Francois Bayrou on 11.5.

Earlier, Sarkozy stressed his friendly ties with Gerhard Schroeder of Germany's centre-left Social Democrat Party.

Germany's role in France's economic future is weighing heavily in the election campaign, and as far back as November the satirical current affairs show "Les Guignols de l'Info" portrayed Merkel as France's president, ordering the French to get off the beach and back to work.

A Harris Interactive poll published on Monday found that 50 percent of respondents believed Germany could serve as an economic model for France, but 58 percent thought German ideas would be hard to put into practice and 64 percent could not imagine living in Germany.

Hollande has made two trips to Berlin in recent months to visit left-wingers and has said that if elected, he would make a first foreign trip within days to see Merkel in Berlin. To date the chancellor has declined his invitations to meet, but aides do not rule out her doing so before the election.

Date created : 2012-02-07

  • EUROZONE

    Sarkozy, Merkel back special Greek debt account

    Read more

  • FRANCE-GERMANY

    Merkel, Sarkozy to discuss fiscal coordination

    Read more

  • CHINA - GERMANY

    Merkel looks to calm eurozone fears in China

    Read more

COMMENT(S)