G7 Meeting in Munich: A former Cartesian discourses on method
Thursday 09 July 1992
But the phrase did spring to mind yesterday when a very serene President Mitterrand gave his end-of-summit press conference. The 75-year-old president, the doyen of this and most other summits, used the occasion to savour his new role as the grand champion of the Bosnian people. As he continued to goad Britain over its go-slow attitude on the Yugoslav crisis, he defended for the first time his decision to make a lightning visit to Sarajevo last month without consulting his European partners.
'There may have been one or two in the European Community who complained. And I say to them: 'What about the principle of subsidiarity?' ' said the President, tongue firmly in cheek.
'I had no intention of negotiating when I went there. So I went to spend a Sunday in Sarajevo. I don't see why I should seek permission from the Twelve, the Commission, the European Parliament or anyone else as to where I spend the weekend.'
Mr Mitterrand defied snipers and shells when he flew on a symbolic visit to Sarajevo immediately after the EC summit in Lisbon last month. He was privately criticised for breaking EC ranks by launching a solo initiative.
The following week, Britain assumed the EC presidency. Its first act was to acclaim subsidiarity - the principle whereby national governments should, wherever possible, retain the right to make decisions without deferring to the Community.
The French leader, whose arrival at functions is always preceded by that of his Swiss physician armed with two black suitcases containing medical equipment, looks after his political health no less assiduously.
He has been surrounded by a host of female image-makers since his popularity started dropping in the ratings, and always manages to make his press conferences an event. When asked by a journalist from Haiti what France could do to improve the situation on the island, Mr Mitterrand quipped: 'Hang on a minute. I am not a maniac about military intervention, after all.'
The President, who yesterday completed his 12th successive G7 summit, went on defend his move to take Yugoslavia to the top of the G7 agenda.
He was asked if the topic really belonged in what was essentially an economic forum where some others, for instance Britain, would prefer to keep the question in the background. The response was well worthy of the Grand Old Man: 'It is surprising to see so many of my partners suddenly become so Cartesian, when I was just beginning to cease to be so.'
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on racism in beauty: 'Every day I woke up hoping my skin was a little lighter'
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a start-up mobile app develo...
£6.31 per hour: Inspiring Interns: This growing predictive analytical software...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education is the largest ed...
£18000 - £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Geoenvir...