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Bonjour, Germany: Macron’s first presidential visit


Bonjour, Germany: Macron’s first presidential visit


Less than 24 hours after his inauguration, French President Emmanuel Macron will keep with tradition by travelling to Germany for his first foreign visit.

Macron’s fervent pro-EU credentials attract a natural ally in Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nonetheless, she remains insistent that France’s budget deficit—which is on track to drop to 2.9% this year but rises back to 3.1% in 2018—must comply with the 3% EU ceiling. Berlin also rejects the new president’s call for a Eurozone debt-sharing arrangement, which would see Germany shouldering the lion’s share of Europe’s economic woes.

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But don’t expect any major policy changes ahead of Germany’s own general elections in September, in which Merkel is tipped to secure a fourth term. Stronger French economic performance in the interim—contingent on Macron’s success in June’s legislative elections—will give Merkel fodder to assure German voters and lawmakers alike that France is a worthy partner, one deserving of some financial leeway.

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