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French President meets German Chancellor

17 May 2017

Dr Merkel's approach underlined her view that it was crucial not only for France, but for Germany, to help Mr Macron succeed - a point that she has repeatedly stressed.

But the proposals have sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin, and initial relief about his victory against far-right leader Marine Le Pen had quickly given way to fears about his reform plans.

It is the flip side of his commitment, shared by his Republican, PS and MoDem accomplices, to a neoliberal agenda for France and, in accord with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, across the entire EU. Merkel and Macron want to kick-start ties with an alliance some German media have dubbed "Merkron".

Merkel called for "new dynamism" in the countries' relationship.

Meanwhile, Philippe said hours after his appointment on May 15 that he chose to accept the job Macron offered him because France is in a "unique situation".

In the post-Brexit environment, France will become the most prominent military power in Europe, with its nuclear capability. "We need more trust, much more trust and more specifically, results".

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A future cap on immigration by European Union citizens to Britain would come at a price for the U.K.'s relations with the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who won almost 20% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, also reacted with hostility.

Mr Philippe is the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers.

His appointment was seen as a strategic move by Macron, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his new centrist party, the Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM), having already won over dozens of moderate Socialist MPs. Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, called Philippe "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".

Merkel, however, appeared keen to support Macron ahead of next month's general election in which he will faces a tough battle to win an outright majority. At least 24 Socialists are now campaigning for re-election under the banner of Macron's Republic on the Move party.

But both leaders said they could tackle treaty change.

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Merkel said that she would be "ready" to the change the European Union treaties "if it is useful", and insisted that the European Union would be "vulnerable" if it refused to amend its existing rules.

"There is a common understanding that we can't just focus on Britain leaving the EU but that, first and foremost, we have to think about how we can deepen and crisis-proof the European Union, and especially the eurozone", Merkel said at a joint press conference, after talks with Macron.

"Only then can the European Union be reformed or develop deeper integration", it said. "I am not a promoter of mutualizing past debts".

The delay was to allow checks to be made on their tax status "whereas the law stipulates that this check only needs to be done after they are named", the presidency said.

Enter Macron. The new French president noted even before he launched his campaign that a bridge needed to be built to unite the "North" and "South" of Europe, with Germany leading the former and France considered the periphery of the latter.

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French President meets German Chancellor