Foreign Minister Gabriel on Emmanuel Macron’s election as French president

07.05.2017 - Press release

Foreign Minister Gabriel issued the following statement today (7 May) on the outcome of the French presidential elections:

This is a good day for France – and it is a good day for Europe and for Germany!

The French people have chosen optimism, reform and open‑mindedness. They have chosen liberty, equality and fraternity – and they have rejected isolationism, cynicism and hatred.

I am very pleased that my friend Emmanuel Macron has claimed this victory.

He has proven to us all that, by taking a clear stance and sending clear messages, it is possible to resist the enemies of Europe, the nationalists, the populists and those who are offering simple solutions. Europe is worth betting on!

Emmanuel Macron’s victory is also a call to action for us in Germany, – because Emmanuel Macron must be successful. If he should fail, Ms Le Pen will assume the presidency five years from now, and the European project would be thrown to the wolves. Therefore, reforms are needed in France. Emmanuel Macron knows this, and he clearly said so during the campaign.

We Germans now have an obligation to support him. Those who tackle reforms must not at the same time be forced to maintain strong budgetary restraints. Because this makes it impossible to invest in growth and creates less, not more, employment. That is why the time for financial orthodoxy and lecturing must now finally be over.

We have the strongest economy in Europe. We are a leading exporter in Europe and in the world and, as such, we benefit most from the European single market. It was France that paved the way for us. Without brave individuals like the Frenchman Robert Schuman, Germany would never have been invited back into the fold of civilised European nations after the terrible crimes it committed during the Second World War. We owe at least as much gratitude to France as we do to the United States for the Marshall Plan.

Therefore, we must now give up our financial orthodoxy. As Germans, we should join France in building a Franco‑German investment fund. Germany and France must now assume joint responsibility. It is in our political, and also in our economic, interest to support France in this way. Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl knew this was the right thing to do. We should act just as wisely.

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