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New French premier 'seeking alliance' with Renzi on rigour

Valls reportedly looking for Italian support - Le Monde

04 April, 14:55
New French premier 'seeking alliance' with Renzi on rigour (ANSA) - Paris, April 4 - French newspaper Le Monde on Friday reported that new Prime Minister Manuel Valls is angling to ally with centre-left Italian Premier Matteo Renzi in an effort to postpone budget targets.

Under the front page headline ''France, Italy: the offensive of bad students against Europe'', the paper wrote that France's conservative socialist premier - picked this week in a major cabinet reshuffle after the ruling Socialist Party suffered a crushing defeat in local elections across the country - wants to position himself ''in the wake of the Italian premier, Matteo Renzi, to postpone the reduction of the deficit''.

The paper reports, however, that ''France is isolated in its fight against partisans of (financial) rigour in Europe''. ''Even Renzi is reluctant to ally himself with Paris in front of Angela Merkel,'' the paper wrote referring to the German chancellor who has been a champion of financial discipline in the EU.

''Allying with Rome would permit Paris to transform a weakness into anti-austerity activism, but Renzi seems more interested in convincing Brussels that Italy can get on by itself and negotiate with Angela Merkel without allying with a troubled partner''.