Destinations Magazine

Charlemagne: Crank up the Motor

By Stizzard
Charlemagne: Crank up the motor

ANGELA MERKEL and François Hollande have broken the ice. Relations between the German chancellor and French president started frostily when Mr Hollande was elected last year, and became still chillier of late. They gave up the practice, common in the past, of cutting deals ahead of European summits. But now, as if to make up for lost time, they have drawn up a ten-page declaration in the run-up to the summit starting on June 27th.Has the Franco-German motor restarted? To cynical Eurocrats, the partnership was always, in part, about hiding German strength and French weakness. With Germany unusually powerful and France unusually feeble, a long paper may provide the perfect cover. Pledges to fight youth unemployment are easy to make. But the tone of contempt for the European Commission will worry many smaller member states.To many, the declaration is a German victory on substance and a French success on future form. Germany has delayed key moves in the creation of a banking union, especially an accord on the euro zone’s rescue fund to recapitalise troubled banks, until next year, well after the German general election.In return, France won support for stronger “economic…

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