James Ashton: Time for us to team up with the Germans after their fallout with France?
Europe’s grand alliance of France and Germany is crumbling like a fresh chèvre. The leaked memo from Angela Merkel’s coalition partners this week only confirmed what everyone else suspects about the French economy under the stewardship of François Hollande.
“French industry is increasingly losing its competitiveness,” it said. “The relocation of companies abroad continues. Profitability is meagre.”
After her close bond with Nicolas Sarkozy, Ms Merkel’s relationship with Mr Hollande was always going to be strained. But what price the eurozone if its two biggest proponents can’t get on over key issues such as austerity and how to tackle falling growth?
Mr Hollande’s plan to cut capital gains taxes smacks of desperation. I doubt he will win back the entrepreneurs and wealthy workers who have already booked their Eurostar tickets to London. Business leaders reckon France’s economy is in for a torrid decade.
It also begs the question what role Britain could play if the old order is changing. Fresh from the incursions made into Tory territory by the UK Independence Party, how David Cameron frames his in-out referendum on Britain’s future in Europe will be focusing the mind.
But what about a new Europe built around a UK-German axis, where the single currency is optional but measures to foster economic growth are not?
In lieu of all those trade missions to China and Brazil stirring export orders, better to be inside the tent with our existing major trading partners. That way the Government might not have to resort to rearguard actions as it is by attempting to fight off the financial transactions tax that those inside the eurozone are gradually realising is bad for business.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 3 Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...
£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...