Skip to comments.Merkel and Sarkozy: The end of the affair?
Posted on 03/16/2012 10:00:56 PM PDT by Olog-hai
She needed him to soften the impression that Germany alone is leading Europe. He needed her to give the impression France is still, despite its economic difficulties, a political player.
From a frosty beginning their relationship evolved towards mutual respect. They met, bickered, compromised and then decided on eurozone policy.
With France struggling to contain its budget deficit and French banks heavily exposed to Greece, Sarkozy embraced Merkel's economic view of the worldausterity measures until a balanced budget is achieved.
He brought his admiration for the 'German model' into his electoral campaign. She said she would support Sarkozy in his re-election bid "no matter what he does" and her Christian Democratic Party was equally warm. Plans were even afoot for the Chancellor to appear alongside the President in pre-election rallies.
But with just weeks to go until the first round of the elections on 22 April, 'Merkozy'as their moniker goesis no longer the talk of the eurozone.
Both sides have cooled. Sarkozy, after being mocked by opponents for being Germany's lapdog, no longer mentions Merkel or Germany in his campaign. His own party told him that it would do him no good to be seen alongside the German leader, who is associated with painful spending cuts in France.
Sarkozy threatened to pull his country out of the EU's passport-free Schengen zone unless more is done to stop irregular immigration and took a swipe at free trade, suggesting there should be a "Buy European" law.
As his campaign takes on a more populist and right-wing tone, German newspapers have begun to ask if the Chancellor still wants to be seen as his running mate.
'Do you really want this guy, Frau Merkel?' a headline by the Die Zeit newspaper said last week.
(Excerpt) Read more at euobserver.com ...
Not applicable now, if ever.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.