France must buck up to halt 'German' EU
Despite many economic positives, France is paralysed by defeatism, says Dan O'Brien. It needs to reassert itself to balance German influence
On this very morning, 75 years ago, Nazis troops marched into Paris capturing the undefended capital of continental Europe's once dominant power. Among the many consequences for France of the fall of Paris was the collapse shortly thereafter of the Third Republic, which had come into being 70 years earlier during the country's last war with Germany. That war, too, ended in defeat for France.
History always explains a lot about how countries act. Does France's history explain its passivity today in the face of a rising Germany?
Before answering that question, consider just how many major reversals and defeats France has suffered over the past two centuries.