François Hollande flexed his political muscles and urged the EU summit in Brussels, to support European countries such as Spain and Italy in their time of financial crisis, which may need swift action to mitigate the impact on their citizens. Angela Merkel reiterated that there would be no collective pooling of debt but Merkel and Hollande did agree that a financial package of 120bn euros should be advocated to the summit, which the European leaders signed up to. These funds will be used to support those counties on shaky financial ground. The Eurozone is on the path to greater integration as a banking union was discussed. One of Hollande's pledges for France, which was about tackling youth unemployment, now has a 60bn euro fund targeted towards this across Europe.
Hollande and Merkel did put their differences aside to state that they were united on austerity and ‘one Europe’ where everyone helps each other, nut are divided on how this is best achieved. Merkel also stated that she would not “give Europe her credit card without guarantees”
Spain and Italy are likely to look to Hollande, to challenge Merkel strict austerity methods of handling the EU economic crisis. Hollande true to form, issued policy proposals for the summit which focused on a growth and jobs pact. The EU summit in Brussels gave an opportunity for the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain to discuss common issues before a full EU summit next week.
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