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France’s German Mirror

France’s German Mirror

NEWS ANALYSIS:  Berlin’s Tegel Airport, which still greets most of the passengers arriving in the capital of Europe’s leading economic power, is outdated and provincial. The opening of Schönefeld Airport, transformed into an international hub, has been delayed for more than a year for technical reasons (a somewhat reassuring challenge to Germany’s reputation for efficiency). […]

The Erosion of Europe

The Erosion of Europe

Just weeks ago, the worst of the financial crisis in Europe seemed to be over. Stability seemed to be returning. But appearances proved to be deceptive. A minor problem (at least in scale) like Cyprus, when combined with an almost unbelievable degree of incompetence among the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the […]

Discovering the Kingdoms in the Clouds

Discovering the Kingdoms in the Clouds

In these austere times, it’s refreshing to realise that sometimes the most valuable European travel experiences are also the cheapest – such as trekking across the Alps and staying in mountain refuges. These huts stretch in a long chain from Slovenia and Austria in the east to the Maritime Alps of France in the west. […]

France repatriates Roma to Romania and Bulgaria

France repatriates Roma to Romania and Bulgaria

French and Romanian officials have agreed on plans to repatriate some 80 families from Roma camps on the outskirts of Paris, Lyon and Lille. It was signed 12 Sept. by both nations and also included the signature of European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Citing health concerns, French authorities have conducted raids of “illegal” squat camps […]

Geneva on the Rhine

Twenty years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Germany’s reunification, French magazines were full of caricatures of Chancellor Helmut Kohl wearing the traditional pointed Prussian helmet. The new Germany was perceived as a threat to the European balance. Germany was simply “too much” again. German geopolitical ambitions, it was believed, would invariably seek greater proportionality […]

Book Review: Philipp Blom’s Wicked Company

Dining With That Wicked Company One of the central lessons of history comes with the discovery of how often it gets rewritten. The chronicles of wars are revised by the victors, enemies are demonized, heroes invented. Important roles played by the inconvenient, however virtuous, are erased and forgotten. With the passage of time, the patterns […]

Pax Franconia?

From Washington, the enthusiasm of the French for intervention in Libya is seen with a mixture of relief and puzzlement. The Americans do not want the job and are happy that someone else does. Indeed, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s willingness to intervene (alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron) helped close a dangerous gap between the world […]

Sarkozy Goes to War

In 2003, France, under President Jacques Chirac, took the lead in opposing America’s planned invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin’s flamboyant speech at the United Nations encapsulated the “spirit of resistance” against what proved to be a dangerous adventure. In 2011, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has again taken a […]

Nicolas Sarkozy Chooses Dishonor

“Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.” Winston Churchill’s famous denunciation of the delaying tactics of the British and French on the eve of World War II should be a warning to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In fanning vicious anti-immigrant passions for short-term political gain, […]

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