Merkel wants to rekindle EU spark in first date with President Macron

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would welcome new French President Emmanuel Macron with an open mind at a meeting on Monday, aiming to reinvigorate the Franco-German relationship and the troubled European project that it underpins.

Macron, who was inaugurated on Sunday, comes to Berlin with ambitions to press ahead with European integration — a mission that has unnerved some German conservatives who worry Berlin will be asked to pay for struggling states that resist reforms.

File photo of Emmanuel Macron with Edouard Philippe. Pics/AFP
File photo of Emmanuel Macron with Edouard Philippe. Pics/AFP

Merkel chose to accentuate the positive ahead of her meeting with Macron. "The election of the new French president offers us here the possibility to bring dynamism into the development of Europe," she said, emboldened after her conservatives won a regional vote on Sunday that boosts her chances of re-election in September.

Looking ahead to her meeting with Macron, she added: "I will say first let us have openness, to find things in common, and not start with everything that can't be done... Perhaps, we can learn from the French in certain things."

Macron picks right's Philippe for PM
Paris: Newly-inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a conservative prime minister on Monday in a move to broaden his political appeal before legislative elections in June. Edouard Philippe (46), a lawmaker and mayor of port city Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main centre-right.

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