Sarkozy's First Trip
A few hours after taking office, Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Berlin for talks with Angela Merkel. According to Yahoo he declared:
"I came to Berlin immediately after taking office to express my wish that we set to work at once, for the need to act is urgent."
"The first order of business is to wrest the European Union from its current paralysis. (...) For that to take place, Germany, which now heads the presidency of the European Union, and France, which has always been its privileged partner in Europe, must reach an understanding."
During his presidential campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy had, on February 12, presented to Angela Merkel his plan for a "simplified" European treaty. He was confident that the German chancellor was very interested.
"The second most urgent thing concerns the industrial cooperation between our two countries and naturally, the EADS affair."
Note: This so-called simplified treaty is another version of the European constitution that was roundly rejected by the French people. Sarkozy has been promising (or threatening) for a while now to substitute a modified mini-constitution for the one the French rejected. The French patriots have been fearing this subterfuge - he will force the French to accept a constitution by assuring them it's not really a constitution.
Note: EADS stands for European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, a major European defense contractor. Airbus, a division of EADS, has recently encountered serious problems and slowed down production, an event that was considered a financial and industrial scandal by the French press. Wikipedia gives some background information (in English) on EADS and on Airbus.
"Yes, we'll get to work!", assured Angel Merkel who had promised the European Council in Brussels on June 21 and 22 to do all she could to advance the construction of the European Union. (...)
She thanked Nicolas Sarkozy for this visit so soon after taking office. "It's a sign of the exceptional Franco-German friendship... and shows that Germany and France need one another."
Nicolas Sarkozy was entitled to the protocol reserved for heads of State - military honors and national anthems in the courtyard of the Chancellery.
But the two leaders showed signs that their relations would be less formal than those between Chirac and Merkel. When he arrived, they embraced, and he took her by the shoulder, while Chirac had always kissed her hand. (...) In front of the press they used the familiar form of address and called each other "dear Nicolas" and "dear Angela". (...)