Saturday 20 January 2018

Unity between the French and Germans is bad news for us

Emmet Oliver

SHE is tall; he is small. She is a scientist; he is a lawyer. She can speak foreign languages; he is only comfortable in French. He is brash; she is controlled.

A lot separates German chancellor Angela Merkel from French president Nicolas Sarkozy, but yesterday at a key EU summit they were united like never before and their alliance, however temporary, is likely to have several negative outcomes for Ireland.

Both leaders are determined to end the year-long eurozone debt crisis, while also boosting the competitiveness of the EU; and smaller countries like Ireland (and Greece) are lying as obstacles in their path. France and Germany have laid down the gauntlet to the other European countries, particularly Ireland: sign up to our reforms or forget any agreement to lower the interest rate on the EU/IMF bailout package.

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