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François Hollande calls for ‘European political union’ within two years
A beleagured President François Hollande went on the offensive today calling for an “economic government” for the Eurozone and “political union” in Europe within two years.
Stung by accusations that he has been too passive in his first year in office, Mr Hollande rolled the dice on the future of the European Union – to the potential embarrassment of both David Cameron and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
In a two hour press conference at the Elysee Palace, Mr Hollande announced a string of new initiatives including a four point plan for rapid progress towards a more federal Europe.
“It is my duty to extricate Europe from its slump and reduce the disaffection of its peoples which threatens the very future of the European Union,” Mr Hollande said.
He said that he would demand the creation of an “economic government” for the Eurozone which would meet every month to discuss ways of promoting growth. He would push for a “political union” – a step towards a federal state – in the wider EU within two years. The French president also called for the harmonisation of EU taxes and a “European energy policy”.