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Germany unmoved by anti-austerity votes in Europe

Germany unmoved by anti-austerity votes in Europe

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is ruling out any substantive shift in its approach to Europe’s debt crisis despite a rising chorus of opposition to Berlin’s austerity policies that reached a crescendo in Sunday’s elections in Greece and France.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in Berlin on Monday, rejected the notion that Europe was on the brink of a major policy shift after Socialist Francois Hollande defeated her fellow conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek voters punished ruling parties who slashed spending to secure a foreign bailout.

Shunned by Merkel, who publicly backed Sarkozy’s campaign, Hollande repeatedly criticised Germany’s focus on budget cuts and labour law reforms as the solution to Europe’s debt crisis. Many saw his victory and the outcome in Greece as heralding a shift in Europe toward higher-spending growth-oriented policies.

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