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Macron to Visit Merkel in Germany in First Foreign Trip as President | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President-elect Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will meet on Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, a day after he is due to be sworn in office.

This will also mark his first visit foreign visit since his victory in the presidential elections on Sunday.

Merkel had welcomed Macron’s resounding win, saying he “carries the hopes of millions of French people and also many in Germany and across Europe”.

Macron’s visit to Berlin aims at stressing the importance of the relationship with Germany to relaunch the European project, an aide to the president-elect said.

“We want to work together on a few priorities: security, economy, investment and social protection,” he added.

Macron will visit French troops abroad “very quickly” after the Berlin meeting.

Merkel and her government had thrown their support behind the centrist Macron against far-right and anti-EU challenger Marine Le Pen during the election campaign.

She spoke by telephone with Macron just minutes after his victory and praised his commitment to the EU.

The two will meet on Monday afternoon, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said, adding that further details would be released later.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Thursday underlined common ground with Macron in Germany and France’s bid to bolster the European Union, which has been buffeted by Britain’s decision to quit the bloc.

Schaeuble said both he and Macron are in favor of creating a parliament for the 19-country eurozone.

“A eurozone parliament could be set up, made up of European parliamentarians, which would have consultative powers” for moving forward the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Schaeuble said.

The Luxembourg-based ESM, operational since October 2012, is a bailout fund for eurozone countries.

Macron visited Berlin twice during the hard-fought electoral campaign.

It is traditional for incoming French presidents to make their first foreign trip to Germany. France and Germany have traditionally been the motor of European integration.

Meanwhile, two days before Macron takes power, the names of the prime minister and the ministers who will form his first government remain a mystery even to some of his most trusted collaborators.

Richard Ferrand, who works closely with Macron as secretary-general of his Republic on the Move party, said Friday on BFM television that even he does not know who will be prime minister, expected to be named on Monday, the first full day of the new presidency, at the latest.

“Frankly, I don’t know,” Ferrand said. “And that’s good, because if I knew I’d be obliged to lie to you.”

Speculation surrounds a half-dozen names, some fairly well-known, others less so, but the fact that one in particular has not leaked from the president-elect’s inner circle suggests either that Macron still has not made up his mind or that his entourage is particularly disciplined and loyal.