Macron Says France Is Having ‘Fruitful Confrontations’ With Germany

(Bloomberg) -- President Emmanuel Macron said France and Germany are on a different page these days but believes their different views on Brexit, climate policies or on trade talks with the United States, are “fruitful confrontations.”

“Some say the (French-German alliance) means having the same views as Germany. But it should not prevent the affirmation of French positions, deeply European ones. I believe in that method, which means sometimes fruitful confrontations, but always with the aim to build compromises,” he said at a news conference at the Elysee presidential palace that lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. He said he stands firmly by France’s opposition to a mandate given to the European Commission to open trade talks with the U.S.

Macron said the euro zone’s two largest economies have different societies, economies and political cycles. The French leader cited the end of the German political cycle, now playing out with the departure of Chancellor Angela Merkel. “There are moments when we are not totally aligned, and we must accept that,” he said.

Still, the French leader struck a far harsher tone in his analysis of Germany’s economic model, saying it was “most likely at the end of cycle of growth that’s greatly benefited from the disparities across the euro zone,” he said. Those disparities, he added, had widened over time. Macron said Germany relied on its “production model that greatly relied on imbalances, with low-cost production countries, which are opposed to the social model I defend.”

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