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Merkel backs Sarkozy for second-term as French president

Although Sarkozy is yet to officially declare himself a candidate in the upcoming election, the German chancellor has given her support to the incumbent.

Merkozy in Paris on Monday.
Merkozy in Paris on Monday.
Image: Michel Euler/AP/Press Association Images

BACK IN 2009 Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to Germany to lend his support to Angela Merkel’s re-election bid and she has now repaid the favour.

Speaking on French television yesterday the German chancellor said it was “only natural” to back her fellow conservative ahead of France’s presidential election.

The unprecedented move is even more unusual given that Sarkozy is yet to make his re-election bid official.

“I support Nicolas Sarkozy what ever he does, and on every level, because we belong to parties which are friends,” Merkel said during the joint interview.

The Independent reports that a spokesman clarified that in backing Sarkozy she was acting as head of the Christian Democratic Union and not as the German leader.

French elections will be held on 22 April and 6 May but Socialist Francois Hollande is ahead in early opinion polls.

To strengthen any Sarkozy campaign, Merkel moved to undermine that of his opponent. She said that it would be impossible to renegotiate the terms of the recently-agreed European Union fiscal treaty – something that Hollande has promised to do.

Merkel was in Paris yesterday for the annual joint cabinet meeting of the French and German governments. The two leaders have become an inseparable political duo as the eurozone tries to sort its debt crises.

-Additional reporting by AP

More: Sarkozy says he will impose a French ‘Robin Hood’ tax>

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