Monday, December 30, 2013


An aggressive foreign policy has its rewards. Le Monde is speaking of a "honeymoon" between Paris and Riyadh, Alstom will build the Riyadh metro, and Arnaud Montebourg is rubbing his hands together over the prospect of selling some nuclear goodies to the Arabs--and not so long after France lost out to a Spanish firm on the contract to build a high-speed train from Mecca to Medina.

Suddenly France's interest in backing the Syrian rebels appears in a new light. The rebels are the Saudi team, and France chose the winning side in the commercial war, even if turns out to be the losing side in the civil war.

One can hardly blame the Iranians for feeling picked on: France isn't as keen to see Iran build nuclear power plants on its own as it is to sell French power plants to the Saudis. "It's just business," as the Godfather says in the film.

And all that flak from the EU about the French need to improve its competitiveness. In Brussels they may have been thinking about wage cuts and labor market reform, but France has found its own way to compete.

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