Sunday, June 8, 2008

Power Couple

Le Monde has a decidedly downbeat piece on the Sarkozy-Merkel relationship. The sourcing of this article is pretty sketchy, so it's difficult to know how the chilliness of Franco-German relations has been measured. At the end, though, we're told that Sarko's wish to name a "strong personality of the left" such as Tony Blair as president of the European Council was a continuation of Chirac's wish to strengthen the council, which Merkel opposes. She allegedly wants a "less flamboyant" personality to head the EC, preferably a member of the European People's Party, the transnational party of the right that she believes can become the nucleus of a majority in the European Parliament that will be aligned with her interests. Which are not necessarily the same as Germany's interests: see the remark on the exclusion of Steinmeier (a potential Merkel rival for chancellor) from the meeting with Sarko (who similarly left out Kouchner and Jouyet, presumably for different reasons).