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Not buying it

2012-05-08 00:02:56

The legacy media likes nothing better than a spat, and if one doesn't exist, it has been known to invent one.

With Hollande barely having had time to down a celebratory drink, therefore, we have the Wail and various others rubbing their proverbial hands in glee at the prospect of a Franco-German dust-up. Bruno Waterfield, for instance, is having a good run at it, and much of what he writes is plausible.

However, we've seen this sort of thing before. But when push comes to shove, France and Germany have always buried their differences in the interests of European unity. If there ever was a serious fracture in the Franco-German axis, it would be the beginning of the end for le projet, and I don't see that happening just yet.

Like any politician, what Hollande said about the fiscal pact in order to get elected, and what he does about it once elected, will be two very different things. He and Merkel may have to go through a ritual dance before he rows back, but this is very different from the terminal row that some media sources are projecting.

Thus, I'm not buying the idea that we're into a major tussle between Merkel and Hollande. It may be happening, it could happen, but I'd like to see a bit more evidence that this is anything more than political theatre, before I get too excited.