Germany and France celebrate their bond
PARIS — Fifty years to the day after Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle shook hands in a gesture of reconciliation intended to put an end to a century of war and enmity, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany came to the same place, Reims Cathedral, on Sunday to commemorate French-German friendship with François Hollande, the new French president.
The relationship has been under strain because of the Continent’s euro crisis and the effort by Mr. Hollande, together with the leaders of Spain and Italy, to push Ms. Merkel toward a greater commitment to sharing the costs of European debt and promoting growth. But on Sunday, those concerns were put aside in the name of the larger commitment of negotiation and peace in a Europe that is generally unified and free.
“At each step of European construction, the German-French friendship was the base,” said Mr. Hollande, standing with Ms. Merkel outside the cathedral, which was heavily damaged by the Germans in World War I. “I propose to you that we open a new door to even tighter friendship.”...
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