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Friday, 06 December 2013

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I lived in France for eight years not one of them under Hollande yet the impression I had was of a people who were deeply entrenched in socialism and xenophobia. I opened and ran a business there and indeed the bureaucracy (55% of the employed work for the government), labour laws and tax system (actually it is not the tax that gets you but the Draconian social security contributions you are forced to pay) did everything they could to put me out of business with a substantial amount of racism thrown in. In the end they succeeded of course but the French were just as bad off as I was another wealth creator eliminated so could not contribute to their economy. If I had had the wit to operate the same business in the UK I suspect it would still be running. France is fine for holidays and healthcare (although their bureaucratic system makes health tourism impossible unlike the UK) but for little else.

xx an ever-mightier Germany xx

Explain.

Germany is becoming easily the dominant clown in the EU circus.

France is the only state that can bring the German empire down now. The club medders are mere zombie states, animated by the Fatherland.

But there's still just enough life left in la belle France for one last spiteful kick in the nuts.

Paradoxically, the Jerries fiscal splurge on themselves being planned, although it will deepen the zombification of the club medders, might give France that bit of extra longevity to lash out and bring it all down.

I hope so, anyway.

SoD

Never mind, Antis, at least you ate and drank well for eight years!

Because, FT, they hold the economic and financial power and these days, as the Germans have at long last discovered, such power speaks louder and lasts longer than armies and navies! As Mr. Ezrati reminds us, originally the EU began as a a small club run *jointly* by France and Germany as equal partners. That is no longer the case and the increasingly the Germans are acting without France. Read his articles, they are very interesting.

DM, they're certainly dominant but I'm not sure they are too much of a laugh!

I don't think Mr. Ezrati would agree with you, Lawrence. Far from a 'Club Med' group forming, more of the Med countries are looking to Berlin for favours, not Paris. Barring a 'Madame Thatcher' overthrowing Hollande, France is fucked!

The term 'Club Med' is misleading in that it implies some solidarity and political cohesion in its members, but there is none; the members are vassal states of Germany, feeding out of the Fatherland's hand.

France's spiteful nut kick won't come from a Latin rallying call to 'those states with a shore on the Med' (to de-emphasize any power association in them), but by simply 'flouncing out', if it comes at all.

And if it doesn't come at all, then the Jerries will have their continental European empire at last, I suppose achieved the right way, or at least, a more rightful way than previous attempts. A predatory seduction, but not rape.

But if la belle France says 'Non' at the last moment, and goes toe-to-groin, we'll find out just how strong the Jerries natural urges are this century.

It would round the cliche off nicely if it happens in 2014.

SoD

"We are watching the historic French nation come out of slumber and subservience at long last, as it was always bound to do once its (justifiable) Gallic pride was hurt and interests were deeply threatened. This is the new fact on the ground.

My own view is that Germany has another five years or so of illusory hegemony in Europe before it all gives way to demographic fundamentals. The younger Entente of France and Britain will take the lead again, buttressed by the high fertility Nordic bloc."

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100026190/france-fights-back-against-german-sick-man-of-europe/

AEP playing catch-up with D&N, again!

SoD

I think that before France can do anything about changing the EU it needs to change itself and I can't see anyone capable of doing that except, *possibly*, Marine le Pen. If the 'Hungarian dwarf' returns it will just be more of the same-old, and I simply do not know if le Pen has what it takes intellectually to 'do a Maggie'. In any event, the danger for France in its weakness is that it is in danger of losing the other 'club med' countries.

One of the main reasons I chose France to open a business was because I like French food and wine (so yes I did eat and drink well) but also at the time property prices were far more attractive than those of the UK. However living there turned out to be a cultural shock and an eye opener to continental Europe's mind set and why the EU a concept that is hard to fault has turned out so badly. I am now very anti EU not for what it stands for but for how it has been designed and built. It soon became apparent to me that the EU has been built only for the benefit of France and Germany and the euro introduced only for the benefit of Germany. France has very high Labour costs so has to be protectionist to keep it's businesses from leaving to set up elsewhere in the EU hence the flood of harmonization rules and regulations emanating from Brussels. In a proper free competitive market France cannot compete so it forces up other member states costs with draconian rules which France had already introduced anyway. Germany has low labour costs although that appears to be about to change so they are successful exporters of goods however that was causing the DM to be a strong currency so was having a negative effect. The introduction of the euro solved that problem and it had the added advantage of giving them a large captive market. Of course it has had very negative consequences. The periphery euro denominated states went on a spending splurge and have gone bust and now expect Germany to bail them out. Germany said no and France backed them but now Hollande is more in favour of saying yes as he has pretty much wrecked France's economy and knows soon that he will need a helping hand. So for the time being at least France and Germany are not seeing eye to eye and as France's economy is now so weak Germany does not need to share the driving seat. This may all change because Merkel has had to do a deal with the socialists and they are more in tune with Hollande than Merkel. Merkel may be forced to be more conciliatory on the bail out front and that does not auger well for the future of the euro or EU but then the future looks bleak whatever happens. Unless the whole lot is dismantled and rebuilt along democratic, free market and non integration lines instead of it's current construct using the socialist model of fake democracy and central control and planning. A further consequence of French and German dominance has been to make EU members not only less competitive among themselves but in the world market as well.

Thanks, Antis, an interesting view from the inside looking out. But check my latest post on the subject.

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