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. [...]

Merkozy’s palliative care pact

If newspaper reports over the weekend are to be believed, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are preparing a new eurozone stability treaty. Such news would almost be funny were it not for the seriousness of the euro crisis. [...]

Sarkozy’s Ides of March

For months, the French republic has been shaken by growing resistance to president Nicolas Sarkozy and his plan to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62 years. Whether the new pension system is eventually implemented or not, the tumultuous scenes in the streets of Paris, Marseille and other big cities leave only one conclusion: France is an unreformable country. [...]