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Friday, April 26, 2013

Not everyone in François Hollande's party cares about Franco-German diplomacy...

French President François Hollande's Socialist Party will hold its 'Convention on Europe' in Paris on 16 June. Several working papers are currently being prepared as a basis for discussion among party members and supporters at the Convention. One of them has been leaked to Le Monde. And believe us, it contains some pretty strong stuff.

Two caveats before we start:
  • We learn from the official website of the Convention that the papers do not reflect party policy "at this stage".
  • The draft published by Le Monde could still be tweaked before the Convention.
Nevertheless, it does give a sense of the mood within the party. These are arguably the most 'explosive' excerpts:
"The communitarian project is today wounded by an alliance of circumstance between the Thatcherite rhetoric of the British Prime Minister - who only conceives a devalued à la carte Europe - and the selfish intransigence of Chancellor Merkel - who cares about nothing but the savings of depositors across the Rhine, Berlin's trade balance and her electoral future. In this context, France has today the only genuinely European government among the EU's big member states."
"Democratic confrontation with the European right means political confrontation with the German right. Franco-German friendship is not the friendship between France and Chancellor Merkel's European policy."
"[Former French President Nicolas] Sarkozy had imposed a certain practice: not Franco-German friendship, but France's alignment to Germany."
The document concludes the party should stand behind President Hollande and support him "in his arm wrestling against the austerity Chancellor [yes, it's Angela again] and the European Conservatives."

It's hard to imagine the French government or Hollande himself publicly endorsing this document, but the sense of frustration is palpable and points to the widely recognised relative decline of French influence over both the direction of the 'Franco-German motor' and the EU more widely. It signals the mood within Hollande's party is becoming increasing hostile to Mrs Merkel, and that the party wants the President to be tougher in confronting the German Chancellor. Not a call Hollande can keep ignoring forever. But also a fight, deep down, he knows he is probably not going to win.


Anonymous said...

But that is a fight that Europe can't loose. Merkel and Germany are doing exactly enough to slowly destroy the EZ. Whether that is what they want or what they can't imagine that's another matter.
We all know what happens when France and Germany are not in the same page as equal partners(political and economical terms) and in balance between each other, albeight achieved after tough concessions. Just take a look at the European history from the last 5 centuries.

Joe L

Ray said...

Sorry JoeL when exactly were France and Germany ever on the same page economically or politically? except from short periods between wars when Germany once again passed France on it's way back up.
As things are in France with new records being set for unemployment, they will be the next to suffer further from being trapped in the Eurozone. Maybe even to the extent they could be forced out as well as the others

Anonymous said...

Is this leaked paper is supposed to be a "bad news"? Actually I would like to see more parties to tell openly the truth and to fight more actively against anti-EU brigade: that Thatcherite's free banking has created the current crisis and Cameron still supports London city hedge funds, the prime reason for current crisis. And if Merkel cannot see further then the next elections EU will fail.


Anonymous said...

Val - yet another left wing apologist who does not understand finance and money. I suppose that you believe that money grows on trees in orchards and that it can be picked freely at will, a view shared by Ed Balls and the Labour Party?

Stop being naive. It is people like who is keeping like me out of work. Go do an economics course.

Let the people decide if this disgraceful organisation, the EU, is wanted. Nobody is taking my vote away without a fight to the death.

Anonymous said...

Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany since 2005.

In 2007 she was one of the small committee that brought back the EU Constitution in secrecy, disguised as the Lisbon Treaty, which is a bundle of amendments of existing treaties that altogether amount to same federal constitution.

In 2008 the crisis in the EU was officially reported, even though Germany, thanks a bunch, is fine.

She plays an essential part in colonising the EU states.

What else needs to be said about her? We can only hope that she will eventually leave her office and the EU will fall apart.

Anonymous said...

I have concerns for the way some of the countries who suffer severe economic situations are going. It is hard for us to understand in this country, just how bad things really are. I went to Spain very recently, protests that are ongoing in Madrid. I also, have concerns for poorer countries and the Eastern block countries that need to have a better standards in housing and welfare. We in the UK seem to have the problems with our benefit system, this in turn will produce a situation where there are more people living on the streets. There will not be the dream for those who are able to come to seek better standards here. We most certainly need to have changes, most urgently.

Rollo said...

France has always leant towards protectionism and socialism; with someone else to do the hard work and pay for it. The France German axis, with the french cock wing in wing with the german eagle straddling Europe and the rest of the world: a dream that never had any reality.

Anonymous said...

At some point, the proponents of "austerity" will have to admit that their ONLY (purported) economic rationale for "austerity" -- an academic paper saying that, historically, it works -- has now been thoroughly debunked because of its faulty data.

My guess is that the "austerity" engineers will admit this -- in their memoirs, after they have destroyed Europe.

Rollo said...

It's all very well knocking austerity. What it amounts to is: if we want to build a prosperous economy, we should not start from here. Where we are is sitting in a pool of debt. Under the loony Brown, we borrowed during the boom time; and when the boom burst, we are left with a bigger problem; but it is nothing compared to the unbridled borrowing of Southern Europe. You cannot escape from deep debt with austerity; nor can you escape by borrowing more. The best bet is to go bust, take the pain and start to rebuild; you cannot do that of course in the Eurozone.

Gosporttory said...

Fully agree with Rollo