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Europe Austerity Leading to ‘Catastrophe,’ French Lawmaker Says

Austerity measures in the European Union are leading the region to a “catastrophe,” according to French Socialist lawmaker Arnaud Montebourg.

“Austerity is everywhere and it’s a complete shipwreck,” Montebourg said in an interview on BFMTV today.

President-elect Francois Hollande will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 15, the day of his inauguration, to try and overcome her skepticism to stimulus spending to counter a contraction in the euro economy this year.

The measures Hollande will propose to Germany are “innovative” and are starting to find “an echo everywhere in Europe,” Montebourg said. “There is a debate in Germany, in Spain, in Italy, in the whole world.”

Merkel’s party was defeated today in its worst result since World War II in elections in Germany’s most populous state that saw the Social Democrats extend their influence across the country’s regions. The result may embolden the Social Democrats as they align with Hollande in an anti-austerity front pressing for steps to spur economic growth to counter the crisis.

“Even in Germany, people are tired of austerity,” Montebourg said. “Madame Merkel herself is experiencing electoral difficulties. All countries need growth.”

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