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German and French leaders meet as Paris prepares to take EU reins

German and French leaders meet as Paris prepares to take EU reins

French President Nicolas Sarkozy travels to southern Germany yesterday for a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel that comes as France prepares to take the reins of the European Union.
France takes the rotating EU presidency from Slovenia on July 1. Before Monday's meeting in the Bavarian town of Straubing, Merkel pledged that Berlin will "support to the best of its ability" the six-month French presidency.
In an interview with the Straubinger Tagblatt newspaper, she welcomed Sarkozy's intention to press for an accord between the 27 EU members on immigration and asylum.
She also noted that France will have the job of piloting EU efforts against global warning, and said that "we need a fair sharing of the burden."
France and Germany have differed on EU plans to limit cars' carbon dioxide emissions.
Germany, whose luxury automakers likely would be hit hard, has argued that large and small vehicles both must contribute to cuts; France, which makes less polluting vehicles, has disagreed.
Merkel's spokesman, Ulrich Wilhelm, said Friday that talks are ongoing and he does not expect a deal to be announced yesterday.


Updated : 2021-07-24 20:27 GMT+08:00