Thursday

6th Aug 2020

Hollande sees his calls for 'growth pact' vindicated

  • Francois Hollande has so far been snubbed by Germany's Angela Merkel (Photo: Francois Hollande)

French Socialist candidate Francois Hollande has reaffirmed his intention to re-open the treaty on fiscal discipline to include a "growth pact" and said his stance is gaining support.

The frontrunner in the French presidential elections said in a press conference on Wednesday (25 April) that if elected, he would send a letter to other EU leaders proposing a "growth pact" to be added to the existing treaty on tight budget rules.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“Budgetary responsibility? Yes. Austerity for life? No," he said, explaining that his pact would include a financial transaction tax and eurobonds - two ideas that so far have failed to get the backing of all member states.

Eurobonds, which would virtually mutualise debt across the eurozone, is strongly opposed in Germany.

Hollande pointed to remarks earlier on Wednesday by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, who said a "growth compact" was the most "present" thing on his mind.

"The fact that the ECB president has also added his voice to others' confirms that the commitment I have made will make the French election a decisive moment for Europe," the Socialist candidate said, adding that he believed many other leaders are waiting for the outcome of the French elections to "open up a new discussion."

“Germany must understand that it is growth that will allow us to resolve a large share of the problems,” he said with Berlin's austerity-dominated thinking the main force behind the fiscal compact.

But Hollande also noted that budgetary discipline is important and said he was committed to bringing down France's deficit to three percent of its gross domestic product by 2013.

Meanwhile, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at a conference hosted by the Christian Democrats, agreed that growth is "also needed", but had an entirely different interpretation of Draghi's words.

"Growth in the form of sustainable initiatives, not just economic stimulus that simply increases sovereign debt, but rather growth in the form as expressed today by the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, in the form of structural reforms."

Merkel has so far snubbed Hollande by refusing to meet him ahead of the 6 May elections, while openly supporting the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who also hails from the centre-right.

EU officials in Brussels expect that if Hollande were to win, an 'annex' could be attached to the fiscal discipline treaty mentioning growth. But changes to the European Central Bank statute or eurobonds are far less likely to happen any time soon.

Sarkozy and Hollande gear up for minutely-planned TV duel

French voters are set for some highly charged political viewing on Wednesday as Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande have their one and only TV debate during what has become dirty campaign for the presidency.

Hollande elected next president of France

Francois Hollande is to be the next president of France after initial results showed that around 52 percent of voters cast their ballot for the socialist and self-styled Monsieur Normal.

EU forecasts deeper recession, amid recovery funds row

The economies of France, Italy and Spain will contract more then 10-percent this year, according to the latest forecast by the EU executive, as it urges member state governments to strike a deal on the budget and recovery package.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Rainbow flag protesters charged by Polish police
  2. An open letter to the EPP on end of Hungary's press freedom
  3. Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence
  4. Why EU beats US on green pandemic recovery
  5. Azerbaijan ambassador to EU shared anti-George Floyd post
  6. Polish party roars back at EU on LGBTI fines
  7. EU: Hong Kong election delay undermines democracy
  8. Why hydrogen is no magic solution for EU Green Deal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us