Brussels

Italy and France should work with Germany, says Hollande

'Important to honor commitments'

Italy and France should work with Germany, says Hollande

Brussels, May 15 - Italy and France would be better served by working together with Germany, rather than by teaming up against the economic powerhouse, French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday. In fact, conflict with Germany "would be against the interests of Europe and Italy and France," Hollande said after a meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. "We can work together in a constructive spirit in the interest of Europe," said Hollande. Many critics have complained that Germany's emphasis on austerity, and its power to enforce that, within the European Union has seriously damaged other smaller economies. Some, such as Italy's ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, have made a habit of directly attacking Germany and its policies. Hollande noted that Italy and France are both dealing with several similar economic issues - particularly, high youth unemployment. But, he added, both countries would want to "honour the commitments" that their governments have made with the rest of the EU on fiscal matters.

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