Germany has ruled out any possibility of renegotiating the EU's fiscal pact, which is seen by the bloc as a defense against default. Persuading Berlin and the union otherwise is now a major challenge for Hollande as it was his main election promise.
In his victory speech on Sunday, Francois Hollande promised his people he would re-open talks so that the pact, according to which the 17 eurozone members agreed on tough measures to slash their deficits, focuses on growth rather than simply imposing deficit-cutting austerity rules.
“This is the mission that is now mine: to give the European project a dimension of growth, employment, prosperity – in short, a future,” he said. “This is what I will say as soon as possible to our European partners and first of all to Germany.”
Berlin has opposed the idea.