Merkel to back Sarkozy's presidential campaign: party

28th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will back French President Nicolas Sarkozy for re-election, according to the text of a speech to be given Saturday by a leading figure in Merkel's party.

"Angela Merkel will support Nicolas Sarkozy at campaign rallies in the spring," Hermann Groehe, the secretary general of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is expected to tell Sarkozy's UMP.

The endorsement is contained in the draft of a speech obtained by AFP. The two rounds of France's presidential elections are scheduled for April and May and although Sarkozy is expected to run, even if he has not yet said so.

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

Groehe's speech also throws jabs at opposition Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande, dismissing his proposals as vague and outdated. Hollande currently leads Sarkozy in the opinion polls,

The socialists are preoccupied with "dusty concepts and left-wing fantasies," says the draft text of Groehe's speech.

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

Merkel's support of Sarkozy is not a surprise, as both belong to centre-right political parties.

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

© 2012 AFP

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