Thursday, August 19, 2004

Arrogant, moi?

In what can easily qualify as a silly season story in France (which has mostly closed down for August) Pierre Moscovici, a former Minister for Europe in the Socialist government, has accused President Chirac of playing fast and lose with France’s interests in the European Commission by his arrogance.

Clearly, M Moscovici has not read my colleague’s blog on the fact that France has not actually done all that badly by getting the portfolio that involves the largest amount of spending money. He thinks that every other large country, Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, has done better. (Un moment, s’il vous plait, M Moscovici. We were all under the impression that national interests must be subdued to general European well-being.)

On the other hand, M Moscovici’s conclusions have, in different ways and in different circumstances, been reached by other, often more reliable commentators:

“By treating its partners with hauteur, by humiliating them sometimes brutally, and by behaving in a cavalier fashion towards the Commission, the France of Jacques Chirac finds itself sanctioned.”

A good line even if the conclusion does not happen to be true.

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