Hollande Risks French Isolation on Fiscal Pact, Merkel Ally Says

Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate in France’s presidential election, risks isolating his country if he insists on renegotiating Europe’s debt-limit pact, said Peter Altmaier, a senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“As far as we are concerned, the negotiations on the fiscal pact are closed,” said Altmaier, the majority whip for Merkel’s Christian Democrats. Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 leaders signed the German-inspired treaty on March 2, he said. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was among them.

“I hope that Mr. Hollande won’t place himself outside this broad consensus,” Altmaier told reporters in Berlin today. “He would isolate France in Europe and that can’t be in anyone’s interest.”

The treaty is due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and must be ratified by at least 12 euro-area countries out of the 17 members. All countries in the euro area and eight EU members outside the currency bloc signed the pact.

Hollande has pledged to renegotiate the treaty. If elected, the Socialists “won’t accept sanctions that are against countries’ interests” and would add measures including joint euro-area bonds, he said in a French television interview on March 4.

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