Sunday, April 29, 2012

Still Traveling

Apologies for the light blogging, but I am still on the road (currently in Chicago). I return home  tomorrow for 1 day, then off to DC on Tuesday, followed by a trip to California on Thursday. I will be on-line when possible, but feel free to continue your discussions in the comment threads.

Operation Eyewash

Angela Merkel took another step toward modifying Germany's intransigent image on the Eurozone budget pact.  Growth, she now says, will be part of the agenda at the upcoming European summit, set for late June. The European Investment Bank will figure in this agenda, just as François Hollande said it should. So she has now pre-empted Hollande's not very challenging proposals for a modification of the Merkozy pact. Tant mieux. Maybe Hollande will now be emboldened to ask for a little more, taking advantage of Merkel's pre-emptive surrender. Or perhaps Germany simply recognized that Hollande was asking for so little, and now seems so likely to win, that it made no sense whatsoever to oppose him.

It hardly matters. Events will soon force both leaders to reevaluate their positions. Timidity will not resolve this crisis.

Did Sarkozy Take Money from Qaddafi?

So, Mediapart, which has been after Sarkozy on the Libyan connection for months, finally claims to have a smoking gun. Sarkozy's camp in turn calls Mediapart une officine de gauche. It is the last week of the campaign, when low blows are historically a commonplace. On the other hand, this particular case has been smoldering for some time, occasionally flaring, then subsiding again. Take the news for what it's worth. As for me, Anne Lauvergeon's comments on Sarkozy's relations with Qaddafi are damning enough, with or without a $50 million bribe. Still, that's a lot of fric.