Merkel to back Sarkozy's presidential campaign: party

AFP , Saturday 28 Jan 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will back French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his presidential re-election bid

Merkel & Sarkozy
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R)shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, August 16,2011. (Photo:Reuters)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will back French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his so far unnannounced re-election bid, according to the draft of a speech that the head of her party was to give later Saturday in Paris.

"Angela Merkel will support Nicolas Sarkozy at campaign rallies in the spring," Hermann Groehe, the secretary general of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, is expected to tell Sarkozy's UMP, according to the draft obtained by AFP. The elections are set for April and May.

The CDU is convinced that Sarkozy "is the right person in the Elysee Palace and will continue to be in the future," according to the speech.

Sarkozy supported Merkel in 2009 when she successfully ran for re-election.

Groehe's speech also hit out at the opposition Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande, who is tipped to beat Sarkozy in the presidential race, calling his proposals vague and outdated.

As leaders of the two strongest countries in the eurozone, Sarkozy and Merkel -- dubbed "Merkozy" by some media -- have had numerous meetings recently as they battle to resolve the debt crisis, without always seeing eye to eye.

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