[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande
Now that France has a new leader in Socialist Francois Hollande – and one with an ideology drastically different than that of his predecessor – the big question for the eurozone is, how will this new partner play with Merkel’s tight-fisted austerity drive? It’s going to get very interesting when the two leaders meet for the first time in Berlin next week. So far, the spokesmen of the Hollande camp have trumpeted a positive line in “compromise” between the two being the main objective, whilst both Merkel and Hollande have independently stuck with their own agendas: Hollande speaks of the need for growth, and Merkel for cuts. Will either budge?
This is really the crux of politics, isn’t it? Austerity is, admittedly starting to get more bad press, from economists, and nations like Greece and Spain, who are rioting on the proposed cuts. Nonetheless, this new European player may actually bring a breath of fresh air to the table and a new perspective. Growth is key, and it’s sorely lacking across Europe. And as was mentioned in a recent, lengthy Guardian piece on Merkel, “The German discussion is moving a notch closer to the international debate on whether austerity has become self-defeating because it is implemented in an overly-brutal way,” according to Sebastian Dullien of the European Council of Foreign Relations. Merkel, now without chum Sarkozy, increasingly seems to be dangling in the wind, left alone in all this. And the need for compromise is essential – this is a collective problem and one that Germany has imposed its veto strength over since day one. A softer approach might be in order, and perhaps is imminent, with the Bundesbank recently saying that it “will tolerate higher inflation in the future” in order to help the eurozone. These tactics are necessary now, and a middle ground needs to be met.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]