Italy's Monti Calls Hollande to Congratulate Him on Win

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti telephoned Francois Hollande to congratulate him on his victory in France’s presidential election, according to a statement from Monti’s office.

Monti and Hollande said they would seek to work closely together, according to the statement. Monti also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss European policy in light of the outcome of the French and Greek elections.

Along with Hollande’s victory, the outcome of the Greek vote, which failed to produce an outright winner, compels European leaders “to reflect” and “urgently adopt concrete policies for economic growth,” Monti said in the statement.

Stefano Fassina, head of economic policy for the Democratic Party that supports Monti in the legislature, urged the premier to delay parliamentary approval of Europe’s so-called “fiscal compact” and slow a plan to reduce the budget deficit in order to increase public investment, according to an interview with la Stampa newspaper published today.

Hollande’s win marked “a defeat for the blind austerity advocated by the European Central Bank that is dragging everyone down,” Fassina told la Stampa.

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