France's president says no to 'endless austerity'
French President Francois Hollande in Paris on May 15, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.
French President Francois Hollande, making his first speech as France's head of state to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, said he believes the eurozone has largely put its crisis behind it but cannot afford endless austerity. Talking about the region, he said the greatest threat was "no longer the mistrust of the markets, but that of the people."
"A big challenge for Europe at the moment is how they can win back support for the idea of Europe among its people. He called for a vision of less austerity and more in terms of providing social security for people and creating jobs for the very very many young people who are without employment," explained the BBC's Bethany Bell in Strasbourg.
Hollande also believes that the euro is too strong which could undermine exporters and wider economic growth. He put pressure on other eurozone countries with strong export economies, like Germany, telling them they should be doing more to grow their domestic market in order to create a fairer balance.