Germany, France paper over euro cracks in show of unity
Fifty years after Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle signed the Elysee Treaty that sealed a reconciliation between the former adversaries, Berlin and Paris are determined to put on a rousing display of unity.
A meeting of both cabinets will be followed by a joint session of parliament in the Reichstag building where Adolf Hitler gave some of his most famous World War Two speeches. In the evening, the German and French leaders will attend a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Merkel and Hollande, born less than a month apart in the summer of 1954, have overcome an awkward start to their relationship, complicated by her vocal support for the French president's rival in the 2012 election and his condemnation of the German chancellor's austerity policies during the campaign.
After six months of earnest handshakes, the two now kiss each other on the cheek when they meet. In recent months, Berlin and Paris have forged complex compromises on European bank supervision and reform of a politically-sensitive shareholder pact governing EADS, the parent of planemaker Airbus.
But on perhaps the biggest policy issue hanging over Europe as it struggles to emerge from its three-year old debt crisis - the drive for closer economic integration - the Franco-German motor is barely revving.
And at a time when Europe can ill afford
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