Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was in Paris on Wednesday to try to find common ground with Francois Hollande, the new French president. The two leaders are deeply divided over how to deal with Europe's financial crisis. Hollande has made growth his priority, and has openly challenged Merkel's insistence on austerity. It is the first split between Berlin and Paris since the debt crisis began 30 months ago. And there are likely to be more battles ahead as a crucial European Council meeting begins in Brussels on Thursday. Officials are pushing a radical proposal to turn the Eurozone into a fully-fledged political federation within a decade.