Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have reached a "compromise" on the thorny issue of a Mediterranean Union, about which Berlin had previously expressed misgivings.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to meet Monday night in The Germans generally blame the French government for not consulting them enough on European policy.
French budget policy, which the German finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, has repeatedly criticized, is one of the bones of contention. Steinbrück reacted angrily at
A Feb. 25 meeting between Steinbrück and his French counterpart, Christine Lagarde, was cancelled, leading to speculations that it was
For Martin Schulz, a German Socialist, the current difficulties facing the French government on the eve of the municipal elections explains some of the tension between the two heads of State. “Nicolas Sarkozy is performing so badly that his political weaknesses on the national stage affects French-German cooperation,” the head of the Socialist group at the European Parliament told Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The strength of the euro has been the subject of constant criticism by Sarkozy since he came to power. He has also continuously suggested that some political control should be exerted over the European Central Bank, while the independence of the bank is a principle the Germans hold dear.
Going it alone?
The project to create a Mediterranean Union headed by
Finally, the French desire to sell civilian nuclear energy to emerging countries is deemed highly suspicious by a country traditionally wary of nuclear power. The German weekly Focus summed up in its online edition the French policy in North Africa as “a policy that wants to build French nuclear plants around the Mediteranean and to link them with the TGV”.
The Germans generally blame the French government for not consulting them enough on European policy.
Date created : 2008-03-03