Leading article: French affairs

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The Independent Online

With apologies to Valéry Giscard D'Estaing

The president lit a Gauloise and transfixed the beautiful Welsh princess with his aristocratic gaze. Her resistance against such charm proved to be about as effective as the Maginot Line in 1940. When the other statesmen and diplomats had drained their glasses of vintage 1976 Mateus Rosé and retired, the president and the princess found themselves in each others' arms. The affair had begun.

"How brilliant," thought the president to himself, as he surveyed the moon-lit grounds of the palace later that night, "to have invented a forum such as the G6, which enables two restless souls like ours to meet." But it was to be a doomed relationship. The princess cared for the ephemeral world of pop music, whereas the president had dreams of a grand projet – a constitution for all of Europe. In time their careers tore them apart. But neither the president nor the princess would ever forget their illicit entente cordiale.