Amid Mixed Signals From Hollande, France and Germany Drift Apart

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At the conclusion of his first year in office, French President Francois Hollande is facing criticism from all sides. Hollande was elected as an almost accidental president in May 2012 in the post-crisis wave of government changes across Europe. His promises to renegotiate German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hard-fought European Union budgetary pact—and to counter austerity measures by increasing public sector expenditures and imposing sharp tax hikes on business—made a deterioration in the French-German partnership, clearly visible over the past year, all but inevitable. Despite his campaign rhetoric, however, Hollande’s first year in office has been marked by conflicting policy messages. […]

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