No Chance

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – Shortly after the conservative candidate in the French presidential elections was decided, Berlin began to apply pressure on François Fillon, who had won his party’s nomination. Even though Berlin is applauding Fillon’s neoliberal austerity measures – which include an increase in the value added tax and the firing of half a million civil servants – his foreign policy plans clearly run counter to Berlin’s policy, according to experts. A fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), for example, criticizes the fact that Fillon “aims” to “retake France’s sovereignty” and to have a cooperative relationship with Russia. Invoking “European civilization,” Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, declared with an air of an ultimatum that this “obviously must be discussed with François Fillon.” Even France’s experts are assuming that should Fillon win the presidential elections – according to polls a real possibility – he would not be able to pursue a policy toward Russia independent of Berlin’s. Continue reading