To me, it's important to preserve proximity to the people. I wouldn't do anything pretentious, and nothing that hurts the people who voted for me. Triumphalism isn't my thing.
Mitterrand had a sense for symbols, and he was the first Socialist president since 1958. He wanted to show that there is historical continuity, a connection with the great figures of French history.
Germany and France are pinning their hopes on young people, in terms of education, science and innovation.
Symbols mean a lot in politics. They indicate a will and create new realities.
I'm not a lukewarm European. I know that the German-French friendship is indispensable, no matter who the countries' leaders are.
No one imposes things on anyone in Europe. That's not my notion, nor is it my temperament. The EU has always functioned under the banner of respect, equilibrium and trust.
A large country with such outstanding economic performance as Germany cannot forget that it owes some of its success to demand from other European countries.
The German-French friendship is indispensable for Europe. And I will never let myself be carried away to making statements that would change it.
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