France - Germany

Hollande urged to stand up for Germany after critical memo leak

The French President, François Hollande, and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault have been urged to stand up for Germany after an internal Socialist Party memo critical of the German chancellor was leaked.

Reuters/Thomas Peter

The document, released on Friday, described Angela Merkel’s insistence on austerity in Europe as “selfish”, and Claude Bartolone, the Socialist president of France's National Assembly, called for a “confrontation” with Germany.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

On Sunday, the Labour minister Michel Sapin denounced the document, saying that talk of a confrontation between France and Germany was inappropriate.

The French Interior minister Manuel Valls said Germany should not be made a scapegoat for France's problems.

The French economist Jacques Delpla told RFI he was shocked by the document.

“This document is absolutely amazing, negatively of course. It shows they [the Socialist Party] know nothing about the seriousness of the crisis,” he said.

“The problems in France are not linked to Germany. They are linked to 20 or 30 years of bad policies. The Socialist government’s policies over the last 12 months have not helped.”

“I think it’s normal that there is a discussion among government, political parties, but the tone here is so negative that it’s a major blunder. If they continue like that they’re going to completely destroy the Franco-German relationship,” he added.

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