New French President Francois Hollande upstaged German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his debut European Union summit by making eurobonds the defining issue, German newspapers said Thursday.
"Hollande defines the European agenda," Die Zeit newspaper said, a day after he pushed for controversial eurobonds, or the pooling of eurozone debt, at his maiden European Union summit.
"Hollande steals the show from Merkel," said news weekly Der Spiegel in its online edition, noting: "It is the first EU summit in years that is not dominated by Merkel."
And it pointed out that it was also the first gathering in a long while where the German and French leaders had not met beforehand to hammer out their common position.
However it judged "unlikely" Hollande's chances of success on eurobonds, which Germany vehemently opposes.
Die Zeit said Merkel had been forced on to the "defensive". "Always just saying 'no' is difficult anyway when things in Europe are not in the end taking a turn for the better," it commented.
"It's even harder when someone else is constantly putting forward proposals," it added.
Under the headline "A lot of talk, no result", the mass circulation Bild newspaper said Merkel and Hollande had argued over eurobonds and marked out their territory.
"Never were EU member states -- especially the Euro-drivers Germany and France -- so far apart in their demands as today," Bild said.