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German chancellor to hold talks with the French prime minister

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German chancellor to hold talks with the French prime minister

Angela Merkel france
Photo: Kay Nietfeld/ AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today hold talks via videoconference with French Prime Minister Jean Castex.

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely dominate the meeting, as both countries recently imposed second lockdowns due to recent surges in cases. Beyond the topic of COVID-19, the US presidential election outcome, as of yet undetermined, is likely to prominently feature in the talks. Both France and Germany would prefer a Biden administration so as to begin repairing transatlantic relations, which have soured under the current Trump administration.

In terms of trade, Biden would likely remove the tariffs Trump imposed on the EU while supporting the bloc in ongoing negotiations for a trade deal with the UK. Trump has supported London in their negotiations with the Brussels, yet Biden has signalled his disapproval of Brexit, a stance likely to benefit France and Germany.

Should Trump win re-election, a strong Franco-German alliance will be key to a resilient EU, a necessity for Europe given that transatlantic relations would be likely to further deteriorate. This makes Germany’s federal elections, scheduled for next year, even more important, as a win for Eurosceptic populists could further threaten the stability of the EU and hinder the continent’s economic recovery.

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