The Big Rift Between Germany and France

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

Perhaps 100,000 people swarmed over the Place de la Concorde in Paris on Sunday, one week before the first round of elections, to hear French President Nicolas Sarkozy beg for his job, and politicians were listening warily ... in Germany. He’d already shocked them on March 11 when he’d declared that he wanted to renegotiate the Schengen Treaty—the foundation of the 26-country area where internal border controls have been abolished. Defending himself against attacks from the right, he’d wanted to show that he’d tamp down on the flow of immigrants. But the Schengen treaty has been a boon for export powerhouse Germany. And his declaration elicited gasps.

On Sunday, he went after monetary policy to defend himself against attacks from the left. “We will also open the debate over the role of the Central Bank in support of growth," he said, thus picking up one of the planks in socialist François Hollande’s platform. The limits that the Maastricht Treaty imposes on the ECB—its single mandate being price stability—were “a major problem for the future of Europe,” he said. “If it chooses deflation, Europe will disappear; you have to remember the 1930s.”

A jab at Germany’s insistence on an independent Central Bank that fights inflation. The Germans are already worried. The ECB opened the spigot far and wide through bond purchases and two Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) by which it lent banks €1 trillion at low interest rates so that they could buy sovereign bonds of troubled Eurozone countries. What else would Sarkozy push the ECB to do? Fund government deficits directly?

Bien sûr. The French government has a history of funding its budget deficits by borrowing directly from the Bank of France. Hence a history of inflation, devaluation, and “currency reform.” The franc was most recently “reformed” in 1960, when 100 francs were converted to 1 new franc. Then, in the 40 years until the euro took over, that new franc lost another 86% of its value. Italy, Spain, Greece, and other Eurozone countries had even softer currencies. Pushing the euro that way would induce Germany and a handful of other countries to leave the Eurozone.

Inflation fears have already infected those who should know: ECB employees. They see how priorities have changed from fighting inflation to keeping banks afloat and enabling governments to run outsized deficits. And it’s apparently scaring the bejesus out of them. Employee representatives are now demanding that ECB pensions be indexed to inflation. And they're serious. A pensioner with support from the union is suing the ECB at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Sarkozy would promise anything to get a few votes. In the most recent poll, Hollande inched up to 28% in the first round, while Sarkozy dropped to 27% after having been ahead for the last three polls. A gaggle of candidates is attacking them from all sides, but none is likely to survive the first round. Closest are right-wing Marine Le Pen, who’d pull France out of the euro, and left-wing Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who’d impose a 100% income tax on those making over €350,000. They obtained 15.5% and 14.5% respectively. The remaining candidates were in the single digits. In the second round on May 6, Hollande would trounce Sarkozy with 55.5% to 44.5%.

So Sarkozy is sacrificing his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. To heck with the Merkozy couple. What a difference two months make. After the German-French council of ministers in Paris in early February, Merkel and Sarkozy gave a joint TV interview at the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the French president, during which Merkel berated Hollande for his campaign promise to renegotiate her oeuvre, the new fiscal-union pact. Never before had a German chancellor campaigned so hard on French soil for a French president. Read.... Merkel’s Desperate and Risky Gamble.

But Sarkozy’s intent on debating the role of the ECB wasn’t a U-turn. He’d long advocated that the ECB act directly in the debt crisis, one of the many points of conflict between him and Merkel—all swept under the rug during their dog and pony shows last October and November when they tried to portray a unified front in dealing with Greece. But now he has re-found his very French voice.

Germany reacted swiftly. The answer was no. “The fundamental conviction of the Federal Government is that the ECB exercise its mandate and role independently from the words or actions of politics,” Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the government told reporters on Monday, adding in a cold rebuke, “and this conviction is known in Paris.” The rift couldn’t be larger, regardless of who wins the election.

The economies of both countries are diametrically opposed as well. Germany is still humming. But France is in trouble. The first quarter was brutal for businesses, and bankruptcies are on track to demolish the record set in 2009 during the financial crisis. Yet the French have a solution, one that would once again violate fundamental rules of the EU. Read.... A Grimy Dipstick into France’s Gritty Economic Realty.

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Zero Govt's picture

"A jab at Germany’s insistence on an independent Central Bank that fights inflation. The Germans are already worried. "

So "worried" that in the past 6 months the Germans have approved and signed off the ECB printing over €2 Trillion to support banks, and by default bankrupt Euro Govts, including Germanys own begging bowl bankrupts such as Deutsche and Commerzbank

the ECB would not and could not print such amounts without explicit German consent. Fact.

The Germans are talking tough but behind the scenes they've hyper-inflated just like Bubble Ben. Fact

Joebloinvestor's picture

I thought he had announced that he had "saved" France (or was it the Euro) and the election was in the bag.

The next leader won't be any better.

It's France, you can be sure of it.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The Europeans are lucky to have many points of view in their political parties.  The Socialist statists, liberal statists, communist statists, and far left statists.  We in America only have the statists!

Canucklehead's picture

This is a lot of fuss over nothing.  Clearly France has been eclipsed by greater powers of Europe.  Their demand to be heard by the powers of Europe has been duly noted.  What is left for France, rally the PIIGS and put a gun to their collective heads?

Didn't we see that scene in Blazing Saddles?

In the not too distant future, France will be up for sale.  Take your time and you too can buy their crown jewels for pennies on the euro.

Germany has already spoken.  They will not accept bogus debt. 

If the ECB goes it's own way, directed by France and the PIIGS, the German banking system will end up (via capital controls) owning all the critical companies of Europe.  They will have definitive voices on all the important Boards of Directors in Europe.  The German directors will be sitting beside the American directors and the few British directors.

France's only counter move would be to create a new trading block that excludes the Germans and the Americans.  Good luck with that.

The new French emporer will be sitting in the corner, holding court, and wearing the Euro Dunce hat.

disabledvet's picture

"Canucklehead" indeed. The French have many of course is to actually form a "Southern Tier'ed Europe" that INLCUDES the Americans! Nice housing bubble you got going up there btw. hope you've done your "cash out refi" to the max...

Canucklehead's picture

How do you think the market would accept "Southern Tier'ed Europe" bonds?

Can you translate that into Urdu so some of our more e"steamed" colleagues would understand the concept?

falak pema's picture

Call me when the US is up for sale, I'll buy a piece of Alaska just to say hello to the reindeers and the polar bear. Seriously do you believe in you own BS or is it to move your bowels? 

Bogus debt? lol....look at the US debt clock.  And that which is still hidden under the derivatives carpet...Huuuuuuuuge carpet; btw, if your eyes can look thataway.

Unless you think a Nuke to duke the sheeple and puke the oil wells will solve the world's debt problem.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the best the french had died in south east asia and other outpost across the globe..those that remain do what the french do best..lose and cry about it.


falak pema's picture

you must be son of Bao Dai or Fu Man Chu of dragon family who hired french "goons", like Blackwater today, to do his dirty work for the Old Mildewed Order. Try the Bojolais wine, it will make you sparkle with Enlightenment; remember Louis Armstrong singing its praises. Read Don Quichotte and you will understand why, as parodied in this classic jewel of literary premonition, the Condotierri  colonial breed that conquered Algeria for France, using the famous 'fly whisk' incident as Casus Belli, always ends up in hell; Dante's inferno. The French have moved beyond Don Quichotte as they have been enlightened; even though they relapse into Napoleonic/Sarkozyistic hubris every hundred years. 

Its time for you to chime in, both to Bojolais and Enlightenment. Prost, Santé. 

Jacob Cohen Bakri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

French Algeria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

AnAnonymous's picture

German US citizen politicians were all ears.

One could suppose as being US citizen politicians, they know first hand the value of promises and direction given through a political campaign platform.

Now if US citizen politicians start to be conned by the tricks of people of the same trade...

falak pema's picture

This article looks at events, obviously incoherent, as its Election time in many countries of First World; an electronically wired financial Rome now feeling the heat of the rising flames of uncontrollable financial meltdown. In Eurozone, the incoherency and austerity pain is evident, which could domino out the whole first world USD hegemony shooting match. Machiavelli's Prince is prepared to sell his soul to sup with the devil; in Paris, in Brussels as in Washington DC, to keep hell from breaking loose for five more years by kicking the QE/LTRO cans. "Oh please, oh please not now but later on", is what they say to Lucifer.

Sarkozy is someone who would have loved to have been on that famous photo in Madeira; besides GWB along with Blair, Aznar, Barroso. He hated the Chirac stance of UN debate in 2003, when France opted out from Irak Crusade, with Schroeder's and Putin's backing. GWB wanting to wear Saint Louis's crusader boots, in clash of civilization mood, to protect sacred oil patch of Arab oil Jerusalem. 

Sarkozy is a true neo-con and on same page as GWB. Now that financial Jerusalem is burning on both sides of the Pond, his vision and his strategy are in tatters. He ended, by his stance since 2007, the famous French 'difference' policy, as pleaded by  de Gaulle since JFK's visit to Paris, where France said : "we are neutral in Cold War and we will go our own way on nuclear armement". It shocked Uber-alles US mindset then, as all thru the subsequent Vietnam war when de Gaulle went one step further on 'difference' by saying 'exorbitant privilege' concerning the sacrosanct greenback, then by pulling out of Nato military command,  and further by saying US had its head up its ass in Vietnam at Phnom Penh speech. JFK said of his failed visit to Paris in 1961 : 'I'm the guy that accompanied Jackie to Paris'...Sarkozy has wanted to join the US hegemony and put France back into the US fold. As he felt France was too statist, too bureaucratic, not entrepreunarial (on which he was right, but on which he DID Zilch since in power, except break down social cohesion, stigmatising minorities, and ruining the justice system). His strategic timing is ironically bad, as the US mindset is now the world's problem, as Rome now burns before our eyes since 2008 meltdown. Not the time to sing 'Ave Caesar!'...when GWB gets thrown into the history dustbin.

Doesn't mean his opponent has a better vision of what's up ahead. But it will be a DIFFERENT ONE. As the march of time dictates all. And time is now walking fast down the road of global financial collapse. The Merkozy scam, that has morphed Euro zone into a GS fiat pumped debt infested zone, with no assets and lots of hot air à la Mario Draghi LTRO, and an austerity reality going nowhere but to Hell, will now play out; its bitter lemons to be sucked by all.

So both Germany and France, as UK/USA and Japan are in the eye of the cyclone. We are in Renaissance times and a lot will be destroyed, the Catholic GOD of so called free market run by an Oligarchy, financialised by WS/City "indulgences", the derivatives scam, which will now bring down the shoddy curtain of Pope's doctrine, as it did then. The free market in an Oligarchy world is like the catholic God of the Renaissance; he will be replaced by the Reform of Capitalism and as well by the new Humanist trend of Alternative energy, deglobalised trade, a dehyperconsumerised, socially ethical post Ricardian labour arbitrage age, as RM are now scarce, energy expensive and populations overflowing. A new dawning of Post industrial society, but there will be blood, especially in third world.

Don't knit pick on details of a dying order; see the rising tide of new values as they unfurl in the chaos of a new renaissance age.  But, we all have to learn to survive, as the new Gutenberg press, the Internet, churns out our new reality, day in day out. 

Jack Sheet's picture

Nice tirade FP. This guy has been saying as you know him?!/frbiancheri/status/155710103843115008
Cheers JS

AnAnonymous's picture

Quite a narrative.

A US citizen narrative.

They are indeed in the eye of the cyclone.

A rising tide of new values? Which ones?

A deglobalization can not happen.

Less people, especially less US citizen middle class, will be on the profitable side of globalization, while those remaining in the eye of the cyclone, will see their benefits increase from maintained globalization.

Any story about the collapse of US citizen elite is preposterous.

Never in human history, an elite has been as free and secure as the elite operating under the aegis of US citizenism.

BlackVoid's picture

It is all posturing by Germany (for the masses) as the ECB monetizes anything anyway.

Nukular Freedum's picture

Dog and pony show. lol.

Nachdenken's picture

The historic three cornered European power struggle - Britain/France/Germany is now on the fields of financial advantage.  The game goes on, Germanxy has the disadvantage of being blunt, trusting and unable to read subtle, early signals of coming dangers.

BeetleBailey's picture

France is in peril. Muslimed up, ancient reactors, no money, lousy banks, industry fractionalized and Greeked into the socialist mantra of bullshit....

Germany holds the cards for Europe. France doesn't like it.

Fuck the French.

Clowns on Acid's picture

Yo BB - The French have already fucked themselves.

AUD's picture

“The fundamental conviction of the Federal Government is that the ECB exercise its mandate and role independently from the words or actions of politics,” Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the government

This is bullshit too. If the ECB was independent of politics it wouldn't be buying the debt of the politicians.

misterc's picture

Printing money does not create prosperity.
When are politicos gonna get this in their heads? 

11b40's picture

Printing money creates lots of prosperity --- for some., and those are the ones who control both your destiny & mine.

BeetleBailey's picture long as the masses stay stupid.....never.....when they wake will the politicians.....

ebworthen's picture

Increasing nationalization and polarization is the rule for the coming decade.

Germany will bring back the Deutschmark before the decade is out.

disabledvet's picture

maybe France will bring back that Franc instead now that they don't have an empire to defend. The same cannot be said of Germany of course.

Watson's picture

Germany will bring back the Deutschmark before the decade is out.

It will be a lot sooner than that:

1. The Germans have already passed laws to allow leaving the EUR without leaving the EU;

2. The Germans recently strengthened Soffin, so they have a mechanism in place to conduct domestic bank rescues.

It can be argued that 1. was just some sort of threat to Greece (we now have the legal framework to throw you out of the EUR), but there was _absolutely no reason_ to do 2., unless they were seriously considering dumping the EUR.

If a situation (say Spain) looks like it will produce adverse political consequences for Merkel (eg bailout with huge bill for German voters, or ECB measures that German voters regard as threatening price stability) then Merkel will (very regretfully) reintroduce the DEM.


fajensen's picture

I dont think so, I think that for Germany the struggle for keeping the EUR-zone intact will be "Zum Endzieg"!

There is a great deal of inflexibility in German thinking. The Germans are slow starters, but once they get going they are comitted. Germany will take just about any loss to keep from having to abandon a carefully designed and executed plan. Rather than new thinking, we will see *more* unelected shadow-governments being put in place in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, most of Eastern Europe*, and more centralisation of economic policy in the hands of unelected commisars in Brussels.

Think of East Germany; Germans willingly shot and imprisoned their own people and even ratted out their family to to STASI, to preserve their ideal (failing!) state.

This mentality did not end with the fall of the wall, rather "the wall" was moved 2000 km to the West. The DDR mentality on central planning, censorship, surveillance, control of public opinion, the construct of an elected parlament without power in front of a unelected politbureu with power. All of this is quite openly integrated into the EU, and the Germans LOVE IT, it reminds them of the old days.

Spain circling the drain wil just make the Germans insist harder on more "fiscal responsibility" -> more power to unelected entities controlled by bankers. Not a single country will be allowed to default nor will anyone seceede.

... And when "Arab Spring" shows up on this side of the Mediteranian it will be crushed in a way that will make Saddam Hussein look like a weak pussy - and little of that will even make it through the Internet.

*) Not in Denmark, though, the Danish government are paid-for boot-lickers and sycophants to a man already!

Element's picture

Greece's Govt isn't leaving the euro for as long as there is free money still coming and Greece and its politicians seem newsworthy and relevant, and a necessary evil, by implication.

So why should or would Greek politicians leave the Euro system any earlier than when the partially 'free' money supply runs out?

They already know they're fucked, and they know the euro is fucked, so why not just play it through and make the most out of the inevitable collapse to come?

The IMF and Germany only want permanent compliance monitors in Athens for that reason.

They believe Greece's politicians are going to just keep failing to meet the qualification targets for further funds releases, but will keep claiming a bailout and soon asking for the 100% default.

And I don't think it matters who is in power in Athens any longer because of this dynamic ... Greece is in a genuine national depression already ... Greek banks are fucked ... what else are they going to do but ride their euro jackass into a continental and global reset?

They can't be kicked out of the Euro system, and they can't be disgraced or insulted into leaving because no matter how onerous Northern European dictates become, the Greeks must and naturally will agree to them, ... and then won't meet them.

Thus Greece will become more of a side-show, as that unfolds.

But if Greece is the model for the rest of the PIIGS ... then what of Spain, Ireland and Itally?

Thus massive monetisation of debt is the only option.

So Germany will most probably call it quits on the Euro as soon as a Golden opportunity presents itself.

And that's why the IMF is frantically begging to raise more funds, for as soon as the IMF kitty is definitively drained, and the ECB is all that's left of the EU banking system, then this is the cue for Germany, the golden opportunity to finally pull the plug on the Euro, and the EU banking system bailout circus ends at that point.

Or rather, then they print the Euro into the ground at that point to kill the debt .... because the debt is in fact the euro as a debt-money system ... then they must replace it ... with ........ wiiiiitthhh ....... ?

I really can't see the SDR getting up in that role.

The IMF itself is just another European-centric hypocritical failed institution. 

They said they were not going to stack it with another European head after DSK got the arse ... but they did so anyway! ... so the IMF's credibility has vaporised outside of Europe, and inside of Europe as well, and it was just a (now doomed) USD-backed Trojan horse anyway.

So I'm now almost convinced that Germany is pulling out first.


The question to constrain is;  when will Germany be leaving the Euro?

Nachdenken's picture

Your analysis runs along the lines of ZH over the past year.  Your listing of IMF, ECB and general policy failures is worth the emphasis.  The last question : when will Germany eave the Euro ? is a loop.

Germany wont leave the Euro voluntarily, because it cant.  It is  chained to the Holocast conscience (do nothing to upset mainstream opinion) and guided by an illusion of indestructibility, which overestimates economic strength without taking into consideration serious demographic shifts, export dependancy, pools of savings misused to indiscriminately support credit instruments,  and off shore placement of production.  Germany is remote controlled by forces that are directing the world financial flows and prices.

Shylockracy's picture

"We do not govern Egypt. We govern the Governors of Egypt."  - Lord Cromer (1841 - 1917)

Ditto Germany.

Watson's picture

...chained to the Holocast conscience...

That, in my opinion, is the very reason why Germany will leave the EUR, and soon.

Whether correct or not, the German explanation for the Nazi rise to power was the destruction of the middle class (and their stablising influence on society) by the Weimar inflation.

So they will do anything, absolutely anything, to avoid a risk of a repeat of the inflation.
And that is exactly the risk of many of the ECB's policies (buying dud Gov debt, open-ended LTRO's with dud banks and dud collateral).

So they have arranged for the legal framework to exit EUR without exiting EU, and also strengthened the Soffin arrangements to give a framework for dealing with shocks to their own banks.

There is Spain to deal with (and Greece is obviously not finished), ECB weakening policies coming out of both sides in France...

So not long to wait before German citizens will be cheering the return of the DEM (they always distrusted the EUR anyway).

AnAnonymous's picture

That, in my opinion, is the very reason why Germany will leave the EUR, and soon.


What is soon? One year? Five years? Ten years? fifty years?

Germany leaving the eurozone, song started on 2008.

Element's picture

Yes, that is my general thought on it too, the German people will react in their own interests.

Frankly, I can't even see how a "holocaust conscience" comes into this, or why it would be a consideration on anyone's mind, at this time and place in hystery.

The German people of today have nothing directly to do with events that are pre-1945, and were administered by people who were born 20 to 50 years prior to 1945.  What does Germany of today have to do with what they did.

How is Merkel or anyone else in power today responsible for any of that? 

They captured, tried and HUNG UNTIL DEAD the Germans who were responsible for that.

The German people of today are not responsible for that any more than Australians are responsible for the British crown wiping out the bulk of Aborigines, then decaring the land vacant, and claiming it all for the Crown. 

Frankly, this sort of "holocaust" sentiment is really just a false collective accusation and a sly form of racism that's used to leverage and arouse a feeling of guilt from people who have done absolutely nothing.   And a guilt that probably doesn't even exist in most German people's minds anyway.  And why should it?

No, the Germans I have met, ussually backpackers, are very far from screwed-up by self-recriminations and moral concerns over the holocaust, nor of what people think of the German people becoming a dominant economy in Europe again.  It's not an issue, and it shouldn't be an issue for them.

If Germans are being screwed by banksters, again, and the currency is being destroyed, again, and if 'foreign' European states are bleeding Germany dry, again, and the only outlet that serves, or at least mostly protects their own interests, is to leave the Euro currency behind, then I think they are just going to drop the euro, overnight one day.

Then Europe is finally going to adjust to the underlaying reality of being caught within a failed and untenable currency system, and as there is not a political union, and I think it is pretty safe to say there won't be, then they must redevelop and reclaim their Sovereign State borders, currencies and domestic governence, military and treasuries once more.  And alliance may remain, and most probably will, but the monlithic EU structure that was, is going to go away.

On top of this, Germany and much of northern and eastern Europe are going to need to be closer or at least more sensitive to Russia's foreign policy needs in real-politic terms (i.e. pull NATO out of the Middle East and close down most US strategic weapon related bases within Europe) if they want to assure access to Russian natural gas supplies, in winter, during a protracted (decade or more) European and global Great Depression.

Which is what is coming.  Necessity will rule the day, not tired sentiments about earlier last century.

Frankly, if I were German today I'd be more interested in keeping Russia on side and providing material sufficiency for Germany (and vise-versa), than I'd be worried about a holocaust that ended and was militarily and legally dealt with since 67 years ago.

Germany may still provide some economic support in some form to other countries in Europe in a deep depression (I'd be very surprised if they didn't), if they choose to, but the obligation to bail out banks and to use a savagely debased curency -- that is going to go away.

Not Too Important's picture

"They captured, tried and HUNG UNTIL DEAD the Germans who were responsible for that."

You have no grasp of who was "responsible for that", and how they received no punishment whatsoever. In fact, they were heavily rewarded for their involvement.

You do not belong on this website. You are too ignorant of the truth to be in Fight Club.

You dishonor every human being that lost their lives fighting the banker's fight.

Element's picture

um ... who the fuck are you again? ... let's see ...  you've been registered at zh for, oh ... 7 whole weeks!

Outstanding!  Happy anniversary. 

Now, to go further, you'll need to stop eating your boogers ... or those of another. 

It an't much advice sonny, but at least it'll get you started in life.

Winston Churchill's picture

Found this report on "the slog".

The author IMO has got the whole current  geopolitical and geoeconomic

situation summed up,including where everone including Germany, is going.

Azannoth's picture

"And a guilt that probably doesn't even exist in most German people's minds anyway." - Yes the young Germans(< 30 years old) are sick and tired of being associated with the Nazi past, but still people > 40 years old still feel this guilt by association(of their parents and grandparents, not to mention the brain washing they got at school) and  they are the ruling class ATM, so you'll have to wait another 10-20 years(generation) before Germany finally shakes off this Stigma, and I doubt you will see a serious break with the (Israel is our liability) mentality for another 20-30 years(possibly 2 generations)

malek's picture

 But the Schengen treaty has been a boon for export powerhouse Germany.

Schengen is about crossing borders without the need to show a passport - what does this have to do with German exports??

Seb's picture

For a just-in-time type of economy, it is important that you have the fastest possible transport of goods. Without Schengen, there will be border checks (and that means delays of several hours, even days, especially when there are multiple border crossings involved).

malek's picture

And in what way exactly does this benefit Germany more than neighboring countries?

Seb's picture

Germany is the main exporter in Europe. Everybody buys stuff from Germany.

malek's picture

Yes, but that was already the case before Schengen.

disabledvet's picture

or in the case of France..."years." I'm sorry..."is that your food rotting on our docks?" Oooops.

Centurion9.41's picture

If in 1913, using ACTUAL PRINTED CURRENCY - not today's ephemeral hexadecimals, a loaf of bread in Germany wa ~13 cents, and went to ~100 Billion in late 1923.... Then how much higher can the velocity of money reach today via hex?  Surely Star Trek warp factors are possible.

Who shall be Captain Kirk?  Will he have photon torpedos to ensure the hexadecimals do not transform into Tribbles or Klingons?

smb12321's picture

The real question is, "What will Germany do when the Left wins and begins demanding a more "open" policy from the EU?"  This is when we find out if Mélenchon is still one of those "waiting for the Revolution".  I mean, he must know that without Germany, the EU is dead in the water.

Fortunate Fool's picture

Sarkozy has zero chance of winning the election. Why is this political rethoric even talked about?

Useless article...

TBT or not TBT's picture

Exactement.   What Hollande is saying is even more nationalist, and socialist, than what Sarko is saying.   Work on that national and socialism thing for a bit too long and you start to hit on Europe's future.   It will revert to form, rallying around national pride, blaming foreigners, doing protectionism and authoritarianism.    There has to be a scapegoat or scapegoats, because socialism/central planning cannot have failed without sabotage.

Azannoth's picture

.. so Nationalism (for all the wrong reasons), I take it! 2 times wrong does not make a right but it's better than Status Quo .. than again probably all the wrong groups will be blamed and kicked out(like White East Europeans) and all the wrong people will be allowed to stay anyway(like Blacks and Moslems), I see no future for Europe we'll just go from the Frying pan into the Fire

lasvegaspersona's picture

it is hard to have inflation when someone else controls the money supply...that pisses off socialists every where