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Macron meets Merkel on first official visit as French President

The French and German leaders pledged to relaunch the partnership between their two countries in order to "reconstruct" the EU. France and Germany jointly brokered the 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine.

France's new President Emmanuel Macron secured backing on Monday from key ally Chancellor Angela Merkel for his bid to shake up Europe, despite scepticism in Berlin over his proposed reforms.

Macron reiterated that the European Union needs a roadmap for change, and he would also be prepared to change treaties if necessary.

The redevelopment of ties between Paris and Berlin will continue with a meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers, which is scheduled for July.

Le Drian is expected to be the only member of the outgoing Socialist government to be kept on, with Macron keeping a careful distance from the little-loved administration of his predecessor Francois Hollande.

The freshly inaugurated French President embarked on an ambitious agenda on his first full day in office - naming a prime minister and then heading off to Germany on his first foreign visit. "... I hope very much in the weeks to come, we will be able to devise a common shared road map between France and Germany..."

On Sunday, he chose the current French ambassador to Berlin - and former European Union ambassador - Philippe Etienne, as his diplomatic adviser.

The German Chancellor met Mr Macron as the pair plan to rebuild the European Union and eurozone after Brexit.

To be able to assure leadership in the European Union with Merkel, the French president, confronted with the thorny issue of labor market reform and the question of public deficits, is obliged to succeed if he wants to restore confidence, a term which he also hammered out during the press conference.

"We need lawmakers that are not complicit and defend the interests of the French and France". For the first time since his election, Macron laid out his vision for the eurozone. But he needs a win for his fledgling party in legislative elections to implement his policies. He added that this would have to be done through "convergence rules and real structural reforms".

Macron also soothed German concerns over the mutualising of "old debt" between eurozone countries, saying he does not favour the idea of so-called eurobonds, but adding that he was open to sharing future burdens. In this case, he said, "those who made efforts are not rewarded compared to those who made efforts".

The EU, she said, must become more agile in its procedures and most decisive in its actions.

Speaking to the newspaper, presidential advisor and economist Alain Minc said: "The relationship with Merkel will be fantastic!"

"Today, we talked about three areas and we will continue doing so later", Merkel said. During his appearance with Merkel, he sought to drive home that he wasn't coming to Germany asking for money and that he's committed to modernizing the French economy.



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