• France's news in English

Hollande and Merkel set for clash over bank union

AFP · 18 Oct 2012, 17:45

Published: 18 Oct 2012 17:45 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The aim of the (European Union) council is not budgetary union, it's banking union," Hollande said on arriving for a pre-summit lunch with Socialist heads of state and government.

"So the only decision we must take, or rather confirm, is the setting up of a banking union by the end of the year, and notably the first stage, which is banking supervision," he said.

"The best way to proceed is to respect the decisions we have already taken," Hollande said later on arriving at the venue for the summit.

He said the context for the summit was "very tough times in social terms, and economic terms," but underlined that leaders are no longer under "very tough pressure from the markets."

Hollande suggested that divergences with Germany were "perhaps for reasons related to the electoral calendar," with German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing general elections next September.

Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier this week that more work was needed to reach a deal on a European banking union at the two-day summit beginning later Thursday, the first since a June summit agreement.

In Berlin earlier Thursday, Merkel cautioned against rushing into an ineffective supervisory system for European banks.

Instead, she said the emphasis at the summit should be on fiscal discipline by agreeing to give the European Commission's top finance official the power to veto national budgets of member states.

Story continues below…

"We believe, and I say that for the whole government, we could go further by granting the European level real rights to intervene in national budgets" Merkel said.

She also reiterated German opposition to rushing into a new system of policing the banking sector rather than taking the time to ensure that what is created is effective, calling for "quality" over "speed."

France and Spain called last week for moves towards a banking union to be agreed by the end of the year, a timetable that Germany finds unrealistic.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available