Francois Hollande and Ed Miliband have called for a new agenda focusing on jobs and growth
French president Francois Hollande has brushed aside protocol rules to give Ed Miliband a warm public welcome to Paris.
The president overruled the advice of officials that opposition leaders should be greeted in private and insisted on coming to the steps of the Elysee Palace to shake Mr Miliband's hand in front of the cameras.
The move will be taken as a further sign of the developing warmth between the two centre-left politicians and stands in marked contrast to the president's prickly relationship with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Cameron's refusal to meet the socialist candidate during a campaign visit to London earlier this year was widely regarded as a snub - an impression which gained further traction when it was announced that the Prime Minister will meet US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney this week.
And Mr Cameron's later comment that he would roll out the red carpet for wealthy Frenchmen fleeing a proposed 75% tax rate did not go down well in Paris, though the two leaders laughed it off when Mr Hollande visited London earlier this month.
Mr Miliband - invited to Paris by Mr Hollande when they met during his campaign visit to the UK in February - scored a minor diplomatic triumph by beating the Prime Minister to become the first senior British politician to hold talks at the president's official residence since his election in May.
He later said that they agreed that "the tide is turning" on the austerity agenda pursued by centre-right governments across Europe since the financial crash and branded "Camerkozy economics" by the Labour leader.
"The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found," said Mr Miliband.
"What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward." Both wanted to "move towards jobs and growth in Europe rather than a Europe of austerity and unemployment," said the Labour leader.
"We also discussed the emergency situation we face in relation to youth unemployment," he added. "I believe action can be taken. I don't believe we need to leave a quarter of our young people out of work and nor does the president of France."