[Ed. – Ay-yi. If you can’t say anything nice…]
After “Merkozy” and even “Merkhollande”, the latest two-headed beast to join the European political menagerie is born today: “Emmangelina”. That is what some (well okay, The Economist) are already calling the duo of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron as the newly sworn-in French president heads to Berlin for his first foreign trip and a chance to discuss the future of the EU.
If Merkel’s ties with Nicolas Sarkozy were largely shaped by the sovereign debt crisis they had to deal with, her subsequent dealings with Francois Hollande were less intense but largely fruitless. The hope invested in the Merkel-Macron duo is enormous and the post-Brexit stakes for the bloc could not be higher.
Merkel will come to this afternoon’s talks fresh from this weekend’s stunning state election win for her conservative CDU party in the traditional left-wing bastion of North-Rhine-Westphalia, and with a German economy firing on all cylinders.
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Initial comments from the Macron camp meanwhile suggest the new leader will acknowledge that further progress on European issues is dependent, or at least should go hand in hand, with efforts to reform the French economy.