Angela Merkel says fiscal treaty will not be renegotiated

Tuesday 08 May 2012 12.17
Angela Merkel said progress is only achievable through solid finances and growth
Angela Merkel said progress is only achievable through solid finances and growth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the fiscal treaty is not up for renegotiation.

At a news conference in Berlin, in what were her first public comments since Francois Hollande was elected the new French president, Ms Merkel said that she looked forward to working with the Socialist Party leader.

Ms Merkel has said that Europe was in the middle of a debate and that France under its new president would bring its own emphasis.

However, she said they were talking about two sides of the same coin, as progress is only achievable through solid finances and growth.

Elsewhere, the campaign manager for the French President elect has said that he had been in touch with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore during the election campaign and that it was agreed that there be no interference in the Irish referendum on the fiscal treaty.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris, Pierre Moscovici said that "this is a matter of sovereignty so no one will interfere in the Irish referendum."

The exact intentions of Mr Hollande toward the fiscal treaty are proving something of a headache for the government.

There remains some ambiguity about the socialist candidate's strategy towards a text which has already been signed by 25 heads of government and ratified by two countries.

During the campaign, Mr Hollande had said he wanted to renegotiate the treaty and would not ratify it as it stands.

However, there have been clear signals that he does not want to change the text of the treaty, but to add something that will provide greater growth for the eurozone.

Earlier, Mr Gilmore said the treaty referendum should not be deferred as a result of Mr Hollande’s election victory.

Speaking from Paris on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Gilmore said trying to delay the referendum on the treaty here would send out the wrong message to investors.

However, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said that the election results in France and Greece were a massive blow against policies of austerity across Europe.

She said Irish people should grab the opportunity in the fiscal treaty referendum on 31 May to add their voices to those from France and Greece and insist on change of policy direction.

Ms McDonald said the best way of doing this was by a resounding No vote.

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