A few news from France today, starting with Tony Blair’s visit
and BBCA had Jacques droning on and on about how horrible globalization, free trade and whateverelse are. Blair, off camera, I’m sure managed to look appropriately professional, but The Scotsman reports, Blair aims to split Franco-German alliance
TONY BLAIR yesterday launched his strategy to isolate Jacques Chirac – by building an alliance with the woman expected to replace Gerhard Schröder as chancellor of Germany.
The Prime Minister’s first stop when he arrived in Berlin was not to the Germany chancellery, but to visit Angela Merkel, the right-winger expected to come to power if the country’s elections go ahead in September as planned.
While he was rebuffed by Mr Schröder yesterday, Ms Merkel gave a speech where she attacked Mr Chirac – and said that Britain’s European Union budget rebate was fully justified, as it pays so much in taxes. Mr Blair spent half an hour in talks with Ms Merkel, and is understood to have presented her with an argument for a root-and-branch reform of the EU which would punish French farmers and reward eastern Europe.
The Scotsman understands that Mr Blair has embarked on a strategy to persuade Germany that EU money would be better spent on regional assistance boosting developing in Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states. Germany would profit, he argues, as these countries are all within its economic sphere of influence and more likely to buy German goods should the EU subsidy be used to help their economies grow.
If I were a waging woman, I’d put my money on Tony.
Yesterday while Tony was talking to Angela, Jacques was visiting the Paris Air Show and promoting the only French-made jet fighter. I’ll refrain from making snide comments about French jet fighters turning tail on their own before the fighting starts.
Update: Boeing is outselling Airbus at the Paris Airshow
Qatar may have chosen the still-in-development Airbus A350, but Chicago-based Boeing’s new version of a midsize workhorse, the 787 Dreamliner, has been selling so briskly that it has reinvigorated the company’s position almost overnight. Other than the Qatar announcement, Airbus has sold just 10 A350s, while Boeing says it has orders from 21 customers for 266 Dreamliners, which will hit the market two years before the A350 does.
In other French news, France holds ‘Chameleon’ impostor
A 31-year-old serial impostor who passed himself off for a whole month as a schoolboy – aged 15 – is being questioned by police in France.
The photo of Mr. Bourdin shown at the BBC News site sure doesn’t look like any 15-yr old I’ve seen, but then, I’m not French.
I’ll be posting on the Aubenas release later today.