Monday, February 28, 2011

Sarko gets tough.

Michèle Alliot-Marie is no longer the French Foreign Minister. She has been forced to resign because of the embarrassing links to the ousted Tunisian regime. Instead we shall have the former Prime Minister, Alain Juppé.

Then he came up with his usual solution to everything:
Speaking to the nation on Sunday, Sarkozy suggested re-launching the Mediterranean Union and called for a meeting of the European Council to discuss Europe's response to the Arab revolutions.
Even though Daniel Korski in the Spectator thinks this would be a good idea, the rest of us and particularly the people of France can merely give a Gallic shrug and murmur plus ça change ... Or as the Independent says:
The whole episode has been highly embarrassing for Mr Sarkozy. His energetic involvement in international affairs, as president of the G8 and G20 groups of nations until the end of this year, was supposed to repair his battered domestic reputation before presidential elections next spring. His long-delayed government reshuffle last November – in which Ms Alliot-Marie became foreign minister – was supposed to create a confident new right-wing government to please his core electoral base.

Instead, Mr Sarkozy stands accused of muffing his response to epoch-making changes in a region in which France claims special historical and economic interests. He has been forced to rebuild his second government after only three months.

The appointment of Mr Juppé as foreign minister would also, in effect, be an admission of weakness or even failure. Mr Juppé, a foreign affairs specialist unlike Ms Alliot-Marie, is closely associated with Mr Sarkozy's estranged former mentor, ex-President Jacques Chirac.

An anonymous group of senior French career diplomats last week criticised Mr Sarkozy's foreign policy as "impulsive" and "amateurish". The Elysée Palace, which has dominated foreign policy-making since Mr Sarkozy came to power, has dismissed the attack. However, the appointment of Mr Juppé implies that control of foreign policy will now shift, at least in part, back to the Foreign Ministry on the Quai d'Orsay
And we thought we had problems with our dim-witted Foreign Secretary. Come to think of it, we do.


  1. Re: "Sarkozy suggested re-launching the Mediterranean Union"

    When was the last time they re-launched it? I seem to remember something similar from the 90's.

  2. I think it was re-launched again a couple of years ago but one does rather lose track.