In Berlin, talk of the political situation in France ranges from real concern about Germany’s most important European partner to contempt at what is seen as a French ‘incapacity’ to reform. France’s failure to emulate the famous ‘German model’ is an all too frequent part of political conversations.

Germany’s anxiety is beginning to drive the new dynamics of the relationship. The lesson learnt during the recent years of euro-crisis management is that Germany cannot go it alone. France remains its indispensable partner, even if it won’t be the only or even a sufficient one. Germany is too dependent on France’s banks, its economy and the room it affords for political manoeuvring. Berlin cannot ignore the risk of political gridlock in France over the EU and its European policy;

For Germany

  1. France should stop pleading for more support from Germany and accelerate measures to overhaul its economy.”
  2. France needs to set an example with its budget
  3. Paris needs to stop asking for growth-enhancing efforts from Berlin and concentrate on its own structural reforms.”
  4. If France wants to obtain a change in European economic policy, it will not obtain it by begging from Germany. 

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