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Macron meets Merkel in Frankfurt to celebrate the book

Ⓒ dpa/AFP – Boris Roessler – | The stand of France, guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 9, 2017

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel meet on Tuesday to inaugurate the book fair in Frankfurt, of which France is the guest of honor, at a time when the French president counts on the support of Germany to ” Europe”.

This dive into the world of writers will allow the two leaders to escape a few hours of their busy national agendas: the difficult formation of a coalition government for the Chancellor, the heavy social files for the French president.

They will have a short bilateral meeting before opening together at the end of the day the first edition of the world edition, with more than 7,150 exhibitors from 106 countries gathered until 15 October.

This presence “symbolizes the proximity between Germany and France, and their commitment to a strong and united Europe”, welcomed the director of the fair, Juergen Boos.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – JANEK SKARZYNSKI – | French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 28 September 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia

France, the country invited for the first time since 1989, will be in force with nearly 200 authors from France but also from French-speaking countries, including Michel Houellebecq, also read in Germany and France, Nobel Prize JMG Le Clézio , the author of best-sellers Michel Bussi or the Franco-Congolese Alain Mabanckou.

– An Erasmus for artists –

For Macron, who is the first cultural visit abroad since his election, the fair “comes at a key moment” in its offensive to “rebuild Europe”, it is said ‘Elysium.

He sees culture as playing an essential role in re-establishing distant ties between Europeans. “The strongest cement in the European Union will always be culture and knowledge … Instead of deploring the abundance of our languages, we must consider them as a chance,” he said. in his speech of the Sorbonne at the end of September.

“The welcome to this speech has been good abroad,” especially in Germany, welcomes the Elysee.

In particular, Paris wants to extend the Erasmus program by opening it up to artists, and to considerably increase exchanges of young people between countries during their studies.

In Frankfurt, Mr Macron should promote his European initiatives during a debate organized in the early afternoon by Goethe University in the presence of Franco-German Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Islamic researcher Gilles Kepel .

But Merkel has other priorities at the moment, with the delicate negotiations ahead to form the next government after her disappointing victory in the September 24 legislative elections. These talks will formally engage with the Greens and Liberals on 18 October, the day before the European summit of 19 and 20 in Brussels.

While visiting the French pavilion of the fair,

– Best selling American –

Mrs Merkel and Mr Macron will stop at a reply from the Gutenberg press, with which they will print the first page of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Francophone authors will also use it to print, in French and German, the first page of their latest book published in Germany.

French is the second most translated language in Germany as in the world, far after English. German is the third in France, after English and Spanish.

Macron recently reaffirmed his desire to further promote the French language, whose “potential” is “immense”, he said.

The number of Francophones is expected to increase from some 275 million today to nearly 700 million by 2050, mostly in Africa, according to the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

Meanwhile, the real star of the Frankfurt fair will not be a Frenchman, but the American Dan Brown, author of the world bestseller “Da Vinci Code”. He will present Saturday his new novel, “Origin”, released simultaneously in 56 languages.

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