Merkel and Hollande agree growth strategy

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande say they have agreed to discuss ways to generate economic growth in Europe.

After meeting in Berlin, the pair confirmed that they want Greece to remain part of the eurozone.

Newly elected Hollande also pledged to work together with Germany for the good of Europe.

Hollande, a socialist who officially took office yesterday, has criticised Merkel’s austerity-led approach to the eurozone debt crisis and called for more growth- based efforts.

During his election campaign, he called for a renegotiation of a budget- discipline pact which Merkel pushed for the continent. Hollande said after his first meeting with the German leader that “everything must be put on the table by everyone” that could promote growth.

Asked whether he is still demanding a renegotiation of the fiscal compact, Hollande said he would be able to answer the question “at the end of this work”.

“It will be very important that Germany and France present their ideas together at this summit and work closely together to prepare it,” Merkel told a joint news conference with Hollande, hours after he took the oath of office.

Merkel also said the two leaders wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone and said they were ready to help the crisis-stricken country to return to economic growth.

— Reuters


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