Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Christian Kastrop, Director of Policy Studies, OECD

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN Security Council unanimously passes resolution

Read more

ENCORE!

Author Kiran Desai on early success and the Booker Prize

Read more

Europe

Hollande, Merkel say they’ve got the ‘right chemistry’

Video by Christophe ROBEET

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-22

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to silence speculation that ties between their countries had hit a low as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of a treaty that sealed their post-war reconciliation.

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel smoothed over their differences on Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in Germany’s capital Berlin, saying they had the “right chemistry” in a day filled with celebration and symbolism.

The treaty was signed in 1963 by former French president Charles de Gaulle and then-German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, as an official stamp of reconciliation between the two countries nearly two decades after the end of World War II. Since then, it has served as the cornerstone of French-German relations, a key partnership within the European Union.

The 50th anniversary of the treaty, however, comes amid widespread speculation that ties between Germany and France have frayed as Europe struggles to emerge intact from a protracted sovereign debt crisis.

‘Moving Europe forward’

Speaking at a joint press conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Hollande and Merkel sought to silence talk that cooperation between their two countries was at an all time low, announcing a series of proposals before May aimed at lifting Europe out of economic crisis.

“We are fully aware of our responsibility to improve the situation in the European Union, to get over the euro crisis and also to strengthen the economy while strengthening the European model of competiveness […] and social cohesion,” Merkel said. “This is a model we wish to keep and preserve for the future.”

Merkel also emphasised the importance of working with other European partners to tackle issues such as unemployment and energy.

Hollande echoed many of Merkel’s comments, adding that France and Germany hoped to deepen their relationship in an effort to stabilise and “move Europe forward”.

‘Best-kept secret’

Faced with a question about their personal “chemistry”, Hollande and Merkel burst into laughter before delving into whether or not their drastically different leadership styles had placed an additional strain on their working relationship.

“Perhaps this is the best-kept secret,” Merkel said, turning to Hollande. “We have the right electricity, the right chemistry, and so we can continue to communicate with each other.”

Later in the day, cabinet ministers from both countries met for a joint session, while around 400 French lawmakers travelled to Berlin to sit down for a debate with their German counterparts in the historic Reichstag building, the seat of Germany’s parliament.
 

Date created : 2013-01-22

  • FRANCE-GERMANY

    France, Germany celebrate 50 years of reconciliation

    Read more

  • GERMANY

    Merkel warns of "difficult" 2013 for Germany and eurozone

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hollande pledges to reverse unemployment in 2013

    Read more

COMMENT(S)