France

The end of a beautiful friendship

If at some point this crisis is no longer acute, then the Franco-German axis will feature only in history books – and the EU will not be able to find a replacement for it anytime soon. [...]

A fatal threat to the European project

The Paris terror attacks are not just a terrible tragedy for those killed or injured and their families. Last weekend’s events have severe political, strategic and economic implications, which could haunt France and the entire EU for years to come. [...]

Now for the next euro crisis

Now that the Greek banks have re-opened, the third bailout package is on the way and something vaguely resembling normalcy is returning to Greece, we can finally deal with other things again: the euro crisis, for example. [...]

An acid test for French-German diplomacy

In the past, a French prime minister or president visiting Germany would have not only been greeted with military honours but also been treated with polite interest and respect, maybe even admiration. After 15 years of monetary union, which was meant to bring Europe’s nations closer together, only the diplomatic formalities of this past are left. [...]

France is Europe’s largest time bomb

Published in Business Spectator (Melbourne), 3 April 2014 By all measures, it was a defeat of historic proportions for President François Hollande and his Socialist Party. [...]

A grey outlook on Europe’s pension reform

France and Spain give us a taste of what is to come in Europe in the coming decades. What comes across as a relatively theoretical exercise concerning pension levels in the distant future will become a reality within the next ten to twenty years — and not just in these two countries. [...]

Adieu, adieu: Depardieu’s justified jeers

Perhaps Gérard Depardieu mainly left France because he refused to believe that high income earners like him should be allowed to keep at least about half their earnings. He probably also wanted to be better governed. Or maybe he just wanted to live in a country that left him a little more air to breathe as a free man. [...]

Hollande rallies Peugeot for a German collision

Looking at France from over the Rhine, the Germans may well ask themselves what the much celebrated friendship between Paris and Berlin is still worth with a French president like Hollande. He openly sides with those southern European governments that expect unconditional bailouts and call for an end to Berlin’s austerity demands. [...]

Striking a French euro tinderbox

Either Sarkozy or Hollande will win France’s presidential elections, but the project of European cooperation and integration will surely lose. And the political uncertainty dominating the coming months will exacerbate the euro crisis. [...]