Looks like there is at least one person who would like to see French President Nicolas Sarkozy get re-elected.Unfortunately, she’s not French.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has pledged to join Sarkozy on his campaign trail later this year, the Guardian reports.
Hermann Gröhe, general secretary of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, declared that Sarkozy “is the man needed in the Elysée now and in the future,” according to Le Monde.
European politicians have generally followed an unwritten rule to not interfere with elections in other member countries, although they often voice their support for each other on certain issues.
However, Merkel’s actions may soon become the norm as European leaders strive to build a “transnational democracy”, Ulrike Guérot, an expert on Franco-German relations at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the Guardian.
Merkel’s announcement seems to have caught Paris by surprise, as Sarkozy has yet to officially declare his candidacy, although he must do so by March 16, Deutsch-Welle reports. “I did not know she voted in France,” the French president said in an interview with multiple television channels on Sunday evening.
Gröhe has also criticised Sarkozy’s rival, Socialist François Hollande, saying that none of Hollande’s “hitherto vague pronouncements” offered a solution to current pressing issues.
Hollande, on the other hand, has said that if Merkel wanted to come to France to support Sarkozy, “she is totally free to do that,” France Info reports. “I’m still going to work well with her when I’m elected in May.”
The endorsement is even more astonishing when you consider that ‘Merkozy’ are reportedly far from friends — but it looks like the German chancellor wants to continue their tag team performance working to solve the euro crisis, and isn’t liking the look of Sarko’s competition.
However, with the way things currently stand in France, this may be the only option left to Sarkozy. One recent survey by Le Monde suggests that more French people trusted the German chancellor than their own president.