French press review 7 February 2012
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, were on television last night, talking about European debt. They weren't speaking the same language, but everyone seems to have got the message. It's the main story on three of this morning's front pages.
Le Monde asks why Merkel has decided to campaign for Sarkozy.
Right-wing Le Figaro says it's a simple case of Germany wanting to keep Socialist Frank Hollande at bay.
Communist L'Humanité cynically says "Merkel votes for Sarkozy".
According to the various analysts, Merkel wants Sarko to hold onto his job as French president, because she's scared of the Socialist contender, Hollande, and his determination to demand a re-negotiation of the so-called stability pact, the basis of the European monetary union, and the brian-child of the German financial-industrial machine.
The fact that it hasn't worked for Greece or Ireland or Portugal is beside the point. It works very well for Germany, and that will do nicely, thank you.
But Merkel can't allow herself to become isolated as the High Priestess of Hardship for the rest of Europe. She needs the support of the Good Soldier Sarkozy to make it all look like a consensus.
And he needs to maintain the image of the man who can save France, Europe and the Galaxy from financial chaos.
And of course Sarko is very keen on copying the German model, where employment costs and job security are low, but production high.
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