BERLIN, April 23 – Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to support French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election bid but has no plans to travel to France to campaign for him before a second round runoff next month, a German government spokesman said.
“As far as campaign appearances go, I am not aware of any plans. This is President Sarkozy’s election campaign, not that of the German chancellor (picture),” deputy spokesman Georg Streiter told a regular news conference today.
“The chancellor continues to support President Sarkozy,” he added, noting that German and French leaders had worked well together in the post-war period regardless of who was in power.
Sarkozy came in a close second to Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande in a first round vote yesterday and the two will now face off against each other on May 6th.
Back in January, Merkel’s conservative party announced that she would “actively support” Sarkozy’s re-election campaign and that the two were planning several joint appearances.
But in the run-up to the first round vote, Sarkozy shifted the focus of his campaign, de-emphasising ties with Berlin in favour of more populist themes like immigration and security. – Reuters