Is Europe to believe that Germany and France reconciled their differences? It seems that there were no happy bunnies in Hamburg.

French president Emmanuel Macron was pictured wincing as he tucked into a fish sandwich during a visit to Hamburg for talks with German chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The two leaders also enjoyed a glass of beer and a stroll along the river Elbe as they aimed to repair strained ties in two days of Franco-German meetings in the city. 

Britta Ernst, Mr Scholz’s wife, and Brigitte Macron, France’s first lady, also ate the snack at a fish stall in Germany’s second-largest city. 

Mr Scholz said: “France and Germany are a very important couple for Europe.

“As is common for many couples, there are sometimes different perspectives on one issue or another but it is possible to develop a common point of view.”

Mr Macron echoed the sentiment, saying the two European Union heavyweights “have a historic, moral, political duty… to build common paths to move forward for our two countries and for our Europe”. 

“A stronger and more united Europe is essential, and a necessary condition for this is for Germany and France to be closer,” he told reporters.

The closely-watched Hamburg gathering, also attended by government ministers from both countries, was billed as a chance to revive the Franco-German friendship after a series of spats over issues including energy policy and defence projects.

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