Angela Merkel

French government distances itself from Socialist Party attack on Merkel

International — Link

Ministers publicly disown socialist party's internal document denouncing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 'selfish intransigence' over austerity.

Merkel ally says France is "problem child" over economy

France — Link

Paris needs to "do its homework" and implement more austerity measures and labor market reforms to regain competitiveness, says Michael Fuchs.

What became of President Hollande's plans to reshape Europe?

International — Analysis

During his election campaign and his first few weeks in office, François Hollande promised to take a different line in Europe, expressing the desire to “reshape” the European Union and promote growth to provide an alternative to German-imposed austerity and structural reforms. But since then the German agenda has re-emerged as the dominant force in the EU, threatening to leave France isolated. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ludovic Lamant wonder what happened to the president’s reformist zeal.

'In the spring we elected him and in the autumn he betrayed us'

France — Analysis

Just days ahead of a crucial vote on whether the European Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance (TSCG), otherwise known as the Fiscal Pact, should be ratified, the French Left is deeply split on the issue. Socialist prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says that if the treaty is not ratified the very future of the euro would be at stake. But a number of MPs on the left of the Socialist Party and from the Greens and radical-left Front de Gauche are bitterly opposed to it, claiming it is simply a charter for permanent austerity. Already there has been a well-attended protest march against the treaty, with some demonstrators even accusing President François Hollande of 'betraying' them over the issue. Though the National Assembly is certain to back the ratification anyway because of support from the Right, the issue is seen as a major test of the prime minister’s and president’s authority. Lénaïg Bredoux and Mathieu Magnaudeix report on the political headaches the treaty is causing the government while Mathieu Magnaudeix and Liza Fabbian take the temperature from the street protests.

War graves desecrated as leaders of France and Germany urge closer European union

International — Link

Desecration of graves of Germans killed in World War I and buried in a French cemetery clouds historic meeting.

François Hollande and Angela Merkel meet in Paris with high stakes at play

International — Link

Franco-German discussions need to build 'a concrete path' for Europe, says European Commission boss José Manuel Barroso.

Merkel and Hollande split over Afghanistan

International — Link

Chancellor Merkel responds to early French withdrawal from Afghanistan by saying 'We went in together, we want to leave  together'.

Lightening strikes Hollande's jet en route to Germany

International — Link

New French president lands for crucial talks with Angela Merkel 90 minutes late after lightning strike forced him back home to change planes.

Celebrations over, president-elect Hollande now faces a baptism of fire


France’s newly-elected president François Hollande has promised he will seek a reform of European austerity policies, beginning with a re-negotiation of the so-called fiscal compact treaty, and the introduction of economic growth initiatives. But his programme faces stern opposition from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ruled out any change to the fiscal compact. With a busy international agenda ahead, including summits of the G8 and NATO later this month, and crucial parliamentary elections in France in June, Hollande's room for negotiations before an EU summit on June 28th is uncomfortably tight. Meanwhile, the deepening political crisis in Greece continues to threaten an explosion of the eurozone. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ludovic Lamant report on the official and unofficial manouevering as the new French president prepares for his first major test in power.

Hollande sets France and Germany on collision course

International — Link

Austerity strategy poised on a knife-edge as Socialists under François Hollande look set to storm the Elysée Palace in French election

Cameron threatens veto on any EU-wide financial transaction tax

International — Link

As President Sarkozy pushes for a financial transaction tax, UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he would veto any EU-wide measure.

Sarkozy and Merkel in reworking of sketch 'Dinner For One'

International — Link

A 1963 British comedy sketch which is cult New Year's Eve viewing in Germany inspires YouTube hit featuring Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.

Sarkozy crows but no sunrise for the euro

International — Link

A week on, it is clear the ultimate crisis summit delivered little to end the onslaught on the euro, writes The Times' Brussels correspondent.

Why Europe needs an FDR

International — Link

Under Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, all Europe can look forward to is years of unemployment and falling living standards, argues Neil Clark.

Eurozone leaders line up against Cameron in battle to save euro

International — Link

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ready to exclude UK from euro deal if David Cameron seeks to veto proposals.