France Needs 'Better' Relationship With Germany: Politician
(Read More: Hollande Reform Defiance Sparks German Anger)
In an interview with CNBC, UMP President Jean-Francois Cope stressed the importance of a close relationship with Europe's largest economy and its Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
"It's a necessity to have very close relations. We can have disagreements of course, but what is at stake is our capacity to … keep on as the drivers of Europe," Cope said. "I think we can do better and this is exactly what I say regularly to the French president."
The two countries agreed last week to a plan to strengthen the euro zone, following a meeting of Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Part of the agreement included the creation of a permanent president role for the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, and more frequent meetings to coordinate economic policy.
But the deal followed months of wrangling between Paris and Berlin over issues such as the pace of deficit reduction across the euro zone, fueling rumors that Hollande and Merkel were not getting on.
In his CNBC interview, Cope criticized Hollande's economic policies, but stressed that France was not losing its influence in Europe.
"I do not always agree with the decisions that have been made by Hollande since the beginning of his term — especially the fact that he decided to increase taxes," he said.
"I would support him if he accepted to change… to shift and to implement a new policy. And I think that the high level of crisis in Europe and France – the high level of unemployment - brings us to the necessity to be much more focused on this question."
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund praised France's progress in instigating economic reforms, and said there was scope to moderate their pace in the near future.
(Read More: Bravo! IMF Contradicts EU as It Praises France)
-- By CNBC's Katrina Bishop. Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaBishop