JOINT PLANS: Germany and France will produce joint proposals on improving economic coordination in the European Union this spring, the countries' leaders said Tuesday, downplaying recent differences as they marked the 50th anniversary of a landmark reconciliation accord.

THE BACKDROP: Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and Socialist President Francois Hollande have often been openly at odds over how to resolve Europe's debt crisis since Hollande took office last year.

CONTRASTING STYLES: Hollande has criticized Germany's austerity-led approach, while Merkel has resisted talk of pooling countries' debt.


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