Poor France, ragged, bagged and shagged by that bully, Germany, not once, not twice but three times in 75 years! It is no wonder that the poor, bedraggled mademoiselle gave in after the last rape and decided that rather than resisting she would smother the great brute in her arms in an effort to pacify him. Today we can see the result, a hugely fat, well-fed and well-off Hun and a poor, compliant mademoiselle rapidly approaching destitution.
Yes, well, if it's over simplification you're looking for this is the right place!
Even so, artistic licence to one side, that is not a totally unfair or innacurate description of European affairs since the '50s. The Germans, through hard work and discipline, have prospered mightily and a great deal of their riches are derived from the gradual impoverishment of their 'European' family. Of course, the other members of the family have actively aided and abetted their own impoverishment, the policies of the current socialist regime in Paris is a prime example, so you can't blame the Germans entirely.
I am not sure whether the 'euro/penny has dropped' in some of the Med nations where even rule by the Berlin-Brussels axis is preferable in its austerity to that of the crooks who used to pillage their countries, so their populations might well put up with things for longer but, according to A E-P in The Telegraph, there is, at last, some clear thinking going on in France. It amounts to 'rien ne change, mais tout doit changer' - nothing changes but everything MUST change! What I might call 'FRIP' (French Independence Party), in deference to our very own and dearly beloved(!) UKIP, does not exist in quite the same way but certainly Marine le Pen and her Nationalist Party seem to be steaming ahead in the polls for the European elections. More important, according to A E-P, there are important elements inside the (apparently) staunchly pro-EU Gaulliste Party who are beginning to agitate for a programme to get France, Italy and any other Med countries out of the euro currency which is strangling them:
Xavier Bertrand, the former employment minister, said it is time to abandon the Franco-German axis that has been the guiding principle of French foreign and economic policy for half a century. “It’s important but it shouldn’t be the alpha and omega of France’s vision,” he said.
“How can we pursue an energy policy if the interests of France and Germany are so different. It is better to work with the English on this subject, and the same goes for European defence. Let us recognise that the alignment with Germany is stopping us pushing for another ECB policy, one that favours growth and jobs,” he said.
And in an extraordinary intervention the former editor of Le Figaro has called for a radical change in European alignment:
This refrain was picked up in an astonishing column in Le Figaro by former editor Philippe Villin last Friday in which he called for a Latin front led by France and Italy to blow up the euro.
In an open letter to Italian leader Matteo Renzi – just 17 years old at the time of Maastricht, and therefore uncompromised and free of EMU’s Original Sin – he warns the young leader that there is no hope of lifting Italy out of its low-growth debt-trap without a “return to the lira.”
Even if the euro fell to 1:1 against the dollar it still would not be enough to save Italy – says Mr Villin – since the intra-EMU gulf with Germany would remain.
He tells Mr Renzi to undertake a tour of southern capitals to forge a Latin alliance, then march on Berlin to inform Chancellor Angela Merkel that monetary union has become untenable. He should warn her that the end has come unless Germany does more than the bare minimum to keep EMU afloat.
The times, one feels, are a-changin' - and about bloody time, too!