A Controlled Gaffe

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Paris has strongly reacted to Germany’s new attempts to impose its austerity dictate on the French national budget. Following the German government’s massive interventions in Brussels, German EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger called the French government a “recidivist” in a newspaper column last Friday – because it does not accept the full extent of Germany’s austerity dictates. This is an “uncontrolled gaffe,” said the General Secretary of the ruling French Socialist Party (PS) and called on Oettinger to resign. To impose more massive budget cuts, Berlin continues its efforts to torpedo the budget compromise reached by the French government with the EU Commission in late October. Since months, observers have been warning against a deflationary spiral and strong social protests in France. The EU Commission’s position statement on France’s budget, scheduled for today, may have to be postponed because of German interventions.

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