French, German summit to mull industrial policy

10th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 September 2007, Frankfurt (AFP) - French industrial policy, financial market turmoil and the outlook for Europe's future will top the agenda when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy hold an informal summit Monday, a German spokesman said.

10 September 2007

Frankfurt (AFP) - French industrial policy, financial market turmoil and the outlook for Europe's future will top the agenda when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy hold an informal summit Monday, a German spokesman said.

Also to be present at the Meseberg castle north of Berlin are the respective German and French foreign ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Bernard Kouchner.

At their third informal summit since Sarkozy's became president in May, the two European leaders are to discuss "recent developments regarding industrial mergers in France," where the state-owned Gaz de France and private group Suez have agreed to merge, German government spokesman Thomas Steg said.

Another announced topic is "financial market transparence," he added.

Germany is following the GDF-Suez merger closely because it is wary of a nationalistic tendency on the part of French authorities in the defense of French corporate interests.
The merged company, GDF Suez, would be a major rival for German energy groups E.ON and RWE as the European Union (EU) energy sector pursues its consolidation.

Merkel and Sarkozy are to assess progress toward an inter-governmental conference to draft a simplified European treaty.

Sarkozy has called in the past for a panel of experts to mull which direction Europe should take.

In addition, Kosovo, the situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan are also on the agenda.

The summit should provide an idea of how the two leaders are getting on, since their usually warm personal relations may have been strained by high-profile French moves in July to obtain the release of Bulgarian nurses held in Libya, which caught Berlin and other EU members by surprise.

AFP

Subject: German news

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