I said the other day that France wanted 'less Europe' for itself but more for everyone else, under the guise of more EU 'economic government'. The Economist puts this slightly differently; it sees an ailing France calling for harmonised taxes and convergent welfare systems as a French perception that the answer to her own lack of competitiveness is for everyone else to raise their labour and welfare costs. Germany, it seems, doesn't agree. Hence the rift in the Franco-German alliance that underpins the EU. The result, predicts the Economist, will be half-baked solutions emerging from the mid-year summit, most obviously as regards the banking union which everyone agrees is essential to save the euro, if not the EU. But which no one really wants. Or, like St Augustine, not just yet at least.
Quotes of the Week
- We don't grow up; we just grow old.
- He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. Like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks.
- The Entente Cordiale is the expression of tendencies which are slowly but surely making war between the civilised communities of the world an impossibility - The Economist, June 1913.
Well,there was lots more I was going to write but I was invited next door at 9 for a dinner at 10 which actually started at 11 and I've just got home at 12.30. So, I leave you with more fotos of balconies . . . .