Juncker not surprised by French election results
Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has said he is looking forward to working with France's new president François Hollande, with many other Luxembourg politicians also congratulating France's new head of state.
Juncker said that he was not surprised by the outcome of the French elections, adding that he did not expect a more general change of direction in European politics as a result. Luxembourg's Premier said that a German-French relationship would also exist under Hollande, even though it may take longer to develop.
Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) meanwhile said he was very happy about Hollande's win, saying he had been in touch with France's new president throughout the election campaign. Asselborn added that Hollande's emphasis on the youth and the future of France had succeeded over Nicolas Sarkozy's “campaign of fear.”
Alex Bodry (LSAP) and François Bausch (Déi Gréng) also showed themselves happy about Hollande's win, saying Hollande was more open and would encourage a more nuanced European debate. Déi Lénk's Serge Urbany commented that Hollande's election opened the chance for the creation of a new Europe.
Will Hollande be able to keep his promises?
There were also critical voices among Luxembourg's politicians. While Michel Wolter (CSV) said he was not surprised by the result, he said the future would have to show how Hollande will keep his campaign promises. Wolter especially addressed economic growth, nuclear energy and France's position within Europe as key points for the coming weeks and months.
Claude Meisch (DP) also showed himself skeptical of Hollande in regards to his attitude towards neighbouring Luxembourg. “Both men have never shown a great sympathy towards Luxembourg. We'll have to see which position the new government takes, but I expect it to be critical in regards to our country.”
Meanwhile Fernand Kartheiser (ADR) said he was optimistic that bilateral relations between France and Luxembourg would improve. However, Kartheiser predicted that Hollande's campaign promises will soon reach their limits, refererring in particular to the difficult financial situation facing France.