Saturday, June 04, 2005

Time for some Euro fun!

In the Economist - It's Chirac, stupid: France's president has wasted ten years, devoted mainly to a search for scapegoats:
The French had many reasons to reject the constitution, but underlying their defiance was a simple point: times are hard, jobs are scarce, nothing changes, promises go unkept, we are fed up, and you—the political class—refuse to listen.
The source of France's troubles is not Europe, nor global capitalism, nor rebellious socialists, nor the far-right, nor the far-left. It is Mr Chirac. His failure to be straight with the French about the need for reform has come back to haunt him. That is why a better response would have been for Mr Chirac to follow the example set by Charles de Gaulle after he lost a referendum in 1969: to accept his responsibility and resign.
And from the (UK) Times - Lame ducks sitting tight on the ‘axis of losers’:
ANOTHER European crisis, another Franco-German summit. President Chirac will meet Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, tonight after this week’s referendum debacles, but this time the pair are largely impotent.

The Franco-German “locomotive” that has hauled Europe since President de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, the then Chancellor, sealed the partnership in 1963 looks more like a train wreck or, to mix metaphors, a wobbly tandem pedalled by two lame ducks.

Both leaders have been thrashed by voters recently. Their economies are among the sickliest in Europe, with double-digit unemployment. The European Union’s eastward enlargement has shifted its political centre of gravity and diluted France and Germany’s influence.

Dining in Berlin tonight, “Cher Gerhard” and “Liebe Jacques” are in no position to strike a traditional Franco-German deal behind which the rest of the EU is expected to fall in line. This time, they will be able to do little more than commiserate with each other.
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of chumps. More by following the link including various strains in their common law marriage and mutual chagrin at the pesky British. And speaking of ole Gerhard, check out Euro report whips up German storm:
Stern magazine said that Finance Minister Hans Eichel had been present at a meeting where the "collapse" of monetary union was discussed.

The government is planning to blame the euro for Germany's economic weakness, the magazine added.
You have to hand it to Gerry. Last election, he ran against President Bush. This time he can run against EUrope!