Open Europe Blog

A bit of mystery ahead of this evening’s meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande. A French diplomatic source told AFP yesterday that, before their working dinner, the two leaders will make a short statement to the press, but will take no questions from journalists.

However, the source went on to suggest that Hollande was quite keen to hold a proper press conference, since he “has not talked about Greece for a long time and wants to communicate.” But apparently his request fell on (Merkel’s) deaf ears.

Needless to say, the diligent Steffen Seibert – the German Chancellor’s spokesman – moved swiftly to clarify that the decision not to open the floor for questions had been made “by mutual agreement”. Hollande’s office also stressed that the chosen format mirrors the one used during Merkel’s previous visit to Paris at the end of June.

Mystery solved? Maybe, but the fact remains that Hollande has reportedly planned a separate press conference at the French Embassy in Berlin after his dinner with Merkel. 

Will a common position on Greece be easier to agree on than the format of a press conference?

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