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French balloon shot down over Berlin

Predictably, if sadly, Sarkozy’s idea of a Berlin summit to discuss what should be done if a Eurozone member were to get into trouble has been dismissed by Berlin. Discussing such things ex ante, on a purely theoretical basis of course, will turn out to be preferable to discussing them ex post, if ex post ever arrives. The German reasoning is that some things just shouldn’t be talked about in public:

A Berlin, un porte-parole du gouvernement, Thomas Steg, a estimé qu’une telle rencontre n’est “pas nécessaire dans l’immédiat. L’expérience nous a appris qu’il y a certains sujets relevant de l’Eurogroupe dont il vaut mieux ne pas discuter en public”.

Whether saying publicly that there are certain things that you shouldn’t talk about publicly is in fact reassuring, is probably something that one could debate.

3 replies on “French balloon shot down over Berlin”

The lack of a predetermined plan and the vague timeframe for getting one was what drove the whole Irish “guarantee the banks” move in the first place. I know “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” but that was only four months ago!

Sarko was asked last night, when he referred to this whole Euro ‘co-ordination’ thing, had he support across the [Euro] group? He said yes, he would, wouldn’t he? However I’d read between the lines of the Berlin porte parole that having a meeting publicly described as a ready-up on the G20 wasn’t a good idea, so we’ll discuss it offline.

Junker is the head of the € group, for good reasons, he has the ear of all the big players, he speaks all the languages, he is a well versed financial operator. In fact Sarko said also that ‘they’d probably have to speak to the Luxembourgers about ‘paradis fiscal’ – that would be an interesting conversation to earwig on….

Last item, Sarko said he had spoken to Obama, who was anxious to get G20 to co-ordinate action on the banks. Of course all this could be Sarkospeak, like I’m pulling all the strings, something the French like to hear, delusions of grandeur and all that.

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