France seeks to amend pro-austerity European fiscal pact
To overcome the crisis, Europe needs projects, solidarity and growth; I will propose to our partners a new pact to combine the necessary reduction in public debt with essential economic stimulus."
French President Francois Hollande
France's newly-elected President Francois Hollande seeks to amend a pro-austerity European fiscal pact, calling for progressive growth-boosting measures to counter deficit-cutting policies.
In his first inaugural speech on Tuesday, Hollande said he will seek to change the European pact, aiming to lower the country’s debt while stimulating the government.
"To overcome the crisis, Europe needs projects, solidarity and growth," he said in his inaugural speech, adding that "I will propose to our partners a new pact to combine the necessary reduction in public debt with essential economic stimulus."
The 57-year-old leader is to head to Germany this week -- marking his first foreign trip -- to hold a significant meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with both leaders having different viewpoints on ways to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
Hollande has been a staunch critic against austerity measures, particularly those proposed by Merkel, seeking government stimulus instead.
Meanwhile, despite a significant defeat in a regional election, Merkel has said that the vote would not affect “the work in Europe”, reaffirming her tough stance on the European policy of austerity measures.
Upon Hollande’s departure to Germany, he is expected to name Jean-Marc Ayrault, the head of the Socialists' parliamentary bloc, as his favored candidate for the position of prime minister.
The newly-elected French president was sworn into office early Tuesday as the country’s first socialist president since 1995, following a meeting with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hollande said he would run a "dignified…simple…sober" presidency and ensure parliament plays its full role, concluding that "I will set the priorities but I will not decide for everyone, on everything and (be) everywhere.”