Lightning Delays Key Hollande-Merkel Talks

World | May 15, 2012, Tuesday // 20:20|  views

Socialist Francois Hollande was just sworn in office Tuesday as the new French President. Photo by BGNES

Crucial talks in Berlin between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been delayed after Hollande's plane was hit by lightning Tuesday.

The plane was forced to turn back to Paris, but Hollande is now on a second plane and is expected to arrive in Berlin 90 minutes late, around or after 7:30 pm, BBC reports.

Hollande, who was just sworn in office, delivered an inauguration speech in Paris earlier, calling for "a compromise" over Germany's focus on austerity, stressing the emphasis should be placed on "growth".

No one on board of the plane was hurt after the lightning struck, but the craft was diverted to Paris for security reasons.

Analysts are watching to see how German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hollande can overcome their differences on how to resolve the crisis.

While Merkel insists on a conservative, austerity-led policy, Hollande wants an economy of growth and new job openings.

He also requests a reexamination of the sealed in February European Fiscal Pact in order to transform it in European Pact for Growth and Employment, which Merkel is adamant is impossible.

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Tags: plane, Parisl Berlin, lightning, employment, job, growth, talks, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, French President, sworn in office, francois hollande, European Fiscal Pact


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