Chirac and SchrÃ¶der doing a slow dance with everyone else watching
SchrÃ¶der and Chirac flaunt love affair at summit
The closeness between France and Germany reached a new and extraordinary climax last night when Jacques Chirac formally agreed to represent Gerhard SchrÃ¶der at a European summit. The German chancellor has to fly home from the meeting in Brussels later today ahead of a crunch vote by parliament tomorrow on his reforms. Yesterday Romano Prodi, the president of the European commission, welcomed the move: "We are in a changing Europe, where traditional barriers are breaking down." British diplomats professed themselves unfazed. "Weâre relaxed," one said, adding: "There is a European dance. It isnât just France and Germany doing a slow dance with everyone else watching. Itâs a lot more promiscuous than that." Next yearâs expansion of the EU to 25 members will dilute Franco-German influence. But there is no doubt that the two are the closest, and most important, countries in the union - largely due to the relationship Mr Chirac and Mr SchrÃ¶der have forged, following a chilly start.
Posted by: g wiz 2003-10-17