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French president talks to Putin, faces media troubles

19 Mai 2017

Freshly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the new power couple leading the charge against anti-European populists and trying to put the struggling EU back on track, analysts say. In keeping with his promise of gender balance, Macron named nine men and nine women.

Merkel added that the German government had already asked the European Commission to look into the possibility of protecting investments in strategic areas on a European level and not only through national regulation.

"It was typical Merkel - giving a joint press conference and saying we have to think about it and see what we can do", Dempsey said. Macron, a 39-year-old former economy minister, said before his election this month that he expected no honeymoon.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, while careful not to rule out Macron's proposals in recent interviews with Der Spiegel and La Repubblica, argued that treaty change is not now "realistic".

"We have discussed this issue", Merkel said.

Both leaders suggested they were prepared to change European treaties if needed, but Mrs Merkel stressed that such measures were not immediately on the table. "In any case, I will be ready to do that", the German chancellor added.

"First we need to work on what we want to change, and then if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we're prepared to do that", she said. It comes at a critical time because the leadership of Germany is in danger in Europe.

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The leaders, who said they were ready to consider European Union treaty changes, plan to hold a joint cabinet meeting in July as part of effort to reinvigorate the German-French relationship at the core of the euro area.

"Brexit is going to take up time and energy but on that, there is a real German concern that there is a common position", Demesmay said.

The online poll was carried out between May 15 and 17 - after Macron named conservative lawmaker Edouard Philippe as his prime minister and before the new government was unveiled on Wednesday.

At least 24 Socialists are now campaigning for re-election under the banner of Mr Macron's Republic on the Move party.

Le Pen, Macron's rival in the second round of the presidential election, visited Russian Federation a few weeks before the vote for a highly publicized meeting with Putin.

"The election of (Macron) means the economic foundations of the Canada-France relationship will not be questioned and will be no doubt be strengthened", he said in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

Germany is looking to Mr Macron to revitalise France as an economic power and political heavyweight in the European Union, which is facing complex divorce proceedings with its current number two economy, Britain.

French president talks to Putin, faces media troubles