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Merkel to play lesser role in French campaigns

Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would not take a direct role in France’s election campaign. He said she would, however, visit France to “talk about Europe” with him. Merkel had previously offered to join Sarkozy on the campaign trail, in his bid for re-election.

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During an interview on Europe 1 radio, Sarkozy said Merkel would not attend any campaign events, stating that “an election campaign is the French people’s business.”

He said Merkel would visit his country, where they would talk about the state of Europe, adding that it was not an unusual occurrence for the two of them to speak together.

Reports that Merkel would join Sarkozy on the campaign trail were criticised by some, who accused her of foreign interference.

Merkel defended her position last month in a joint interview with Sarkozy in Paris last month, where she said it was natural for her to support him because they “belong to the same political family.”

The French presidential elections will take place in a two-round vote in April and May.

 

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