France's not 'following' Germany on eurozone: Juppe

2nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Friday denied Paris was following Berlin's lead in dealing with the eurozone crisis and denounced France's opposition for raising fears of German influence.

In a statement, Juppe quoted a number of senior Socialists accusing French President Nicolas Sarkozy of taking orders from German Chancellor Angela Merkel in dealing with the eurozone's debt woes.

"When they express themselves on the eurozone, Socialist leaders accuse France of following Germany's lead," Juppe said. "Not only is this false -- and this is easy to show -- it is irresponsible."

With a presidential election six months away, Socialist leaders have sought to undermine Sarkozy by raising the spectre of a powerful Germany, Juppe said.

"Purely as a political tactic to weaken the French president, the Socialists are threatening to re-ignite the old demons of Germanophobia in France," he said.

Juppe said he was particularly incensed by the opposition's use of terms such as "German nationalism" and "Bismarck-style politics," in reference to German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck who defeated the French in 1870.

Sarkozy and Merkel are to meet on Monday and the two are to jointly propose a new EU treaty to tackle the debt crisis, which has raised fears for the global economy.

© 2011 AFP

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