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

merkel-macron

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.

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.