France

German, French Leaders Promise Deeper Ties

No escape from the EU

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Meeting on the 50th anniversary of the pact sealing their post-war reconciliation, the leaders of Germany and France vowed to bridge differences on the shape of Europe's currency union and unveil joint proposals on deeper integration within months.

Angela Merkel, a conservative, and Francois Hollande, a socialist, have had an uneasy relationship since the French president swept into office eight months ago vowing to reverse German-backed austerity policies designed to shore up the crisis-hit euro zone.

But the two leaders, born less than a month apart in the summer of 1954, stressed their common values and hailed the importance of the Franco-German partnership after centuries of conflict that culminated in two world wars and led historians to speak of a "hereditary enmity".