Friday

20th May 2022

French left 'disturbed' by alleged anti-Hollande plot

  • Hollande: 'There are parts of this treaty we can accept, but we won’t accept sanctions that are against countries' interests' (Photo: Francois Hollande)

Allies of centre-left French presidential candidate Francois Hollande have spoken out against a reported pact by centre-right EU leaders to harm his image.

Hollande campaign chief Pierre Moscovici told German broadcaster RTL on Sunday (4 March) it is unacceptable that centre-right leaders in large EU countries have until now declined to meet his boss: "I call this conservative pressure, which is unprecedented in the history of Europe, and I find it irritating and disturbing."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

A fellow Parti Socialiste MP, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, told France's Europe 1 radio: "Angela Merkel has gone too far ... The hostility of the [German] chancellery has little chance of hearing a positive echo from our compatriots. She is taking a great risk."

The remarks come after German magazine Der Spiegel earlier the same day reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the UK's David Cameron made a verbal agreement with incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy to snub Hollande ahead of the 22 April elections.

Even Hollande's opponent, far-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, came out on his side, telling Europe 1: "The battle is taking place at a European level. The conservatives are closing ranks to try to defend their frontline in France ... They have every reason to be fearful. They are about to get the lesson they deserve because I think France will expel Nicolas Sarkozy."

Pollster LH2 at the weekend predicted that Hollande will beat Sarkozy by 16 points in the second round in May.

For his part, Hollande told the France 3 network on Sunday he still aims to renegotiate the new intergovernmental treaty on fiscal discipline, signed by Sarkozy and 24 other EU leaders in Brussels on Friday.

"If tomorrow I'm president, I'll say there are parts of this treaty we can accept, but we won't accept sanctions that are against countries' interests and, second, we'll add growth, activity, big industrial projects, Eurobonds to pull the economy ahead," he said.

"I do not know if this [Der Spiegel] information is accurate ... [But] it's not the European leaders - whom I respect by the way - who will influence the decision of the French people," he added.

The German and French governments have officially denied the secret pact.

"He is trying to invent a plot when there is simply a lack of credibility," Sarkozy spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told Reuters at the weekend.

Merkel in February openly pledged to back Sarkozy "in anyway I can ... no matter what he does."

Her coalition partner, German Liberal party foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, also gave credibility to the Spiegel report on Sunday in separate comments in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "I would advise all German parties to show restraint ... The party political conflict in Germany should not be exported to France," he said.

Majority of French oppose fiscal treaty

A majority of French people are opposed to the recently agreed EU plans for a fiscal compact treaty, with opposition Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande calling for a renegotiation of the text.

Hollande on collision course with Merkel

Francois Hollande, socialist challenger for the French presidency, has honed his general opposition to the German-led fiscal discipline treaty by outlining the concrete changes he would like to see made to the document.

Hollande opposes Merkel crisis response

French presidential candidate Francois Hollande has said that under his watch, the European Court of Justice would not be given extra powers to veto national budgets, placing him in direct opposition to German plans to solve the crisis.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts
  2. Macron seeks 'quick' EU answer on Moldova application
  3. German chancellor to tour Western Balkans
  4. UN: more than 8,000 civilians killed or injured in Ukraine
  5. EU agrees new minimum gas storage target
  6. EU justice agency to have more roles on war crimes
  7. More than 50,000 Ukrainians refused entry into EU in 2021
  8. Germany open to EU treaty change 'if required'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  2. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  3. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  4. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  5. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms
  6. EU states warn of looming food-price crisis
  7. Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow
  8. Nordic Bridges unveil latest highlights of Spring programme

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us