Europe will have to listen to France's presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande and his plan to renegotiate the fiscal pact if he is elected, the Socialist candidate told German magazine Der Spiegel.
Now everyone knows my position on the fiscal pact, and they will have to take it into consideration after the election, said Hollande, who is tipped to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the April-May election.
If I become President, France will take another path to that under Nicolas Sarkozy -- both in domestic policy and in foreign and European policy.
Hollande is rattling nerves in mostly conservative-led European capitals with his determination to tack new clauses on growth and solidarity on to a treaty he describes as incomplete.
He said he was not vexed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not react to his request to meet before polling day.
Asked if she rejected his request, he said: No, but I think it doesn't make sense to insist. I simply let her know that I would be ready, and there was no reaction.
I understand that Mrs. Merkel supports Mr. Sarkozy. After all, they're within the same conservative family of parties, he said, noting however that Merkel had a stronger say on the fiscal pact than Sarkozy.
What matters is that we are able to maintain good relations between our countries if I am elected.
When asked whether the French-German Merkozy tandem could be replaced by Merlande in the event of him winning the election, he replied: We're not quite at the point yet at which we combine our last names.
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by David Hulmes)