Lawrence Gonzi and Angela Merkel at an EPP meeting.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel next Wednesday, 9 January, a Chancellery spokesman said today in Berlin.
Gonzi will be hosted by Merkel at 1:30pm in Berlin, two days after the Maltese parliament is dissolved and the election campaign starts in earnest.
Spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that Chancellor Merkel will host Gonzi for a working lunch at her office, to discuss "European affairs".
Items on the agenda are said to include the continuation of negotiations on the European Union's financial framework for 2014-2021, and the succession for Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the eurozone.
Possible successors include German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble.
While Labour's internet organ maltastar.com has claimed that the OPM is seeking photo opportunities for Gonzi with US president Barack Obama and even Pope Benedict XVI, Gonzi's meeting with Merkel will surely give the prime minister a boost to his 'statesman image' as he prepares to drive home the message that he is best suited to steward the Maltese economy through difficult financial times.
Meanwhile, Merkel will also meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Berlin on Tuesday.
Samaras will be attending an economic conference in the Germa capital that day and it is "only natural that we would take the opportunity to discuss the progress that Greece is making in its reform efforts," Seibert said.
He gave no further details about the substance of the informal meeting. Asked whether the two leaders would discuss Cyprus, Seibert said only that no issue is ruled out.
Also on Wednesday, soon after her meeting with the Maltese Prime Minister, Merkel is to host Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus.