EU in decomposition

Oct. 21, 2022
Emmanuel Macron outplayed Olaf Scholz. This time.
From the opening whistle of this week’s European Council summit of European leaders, the French president put the German chancellor onto the defensive.
Arriving at the EU summit on Thursday, Macron told reporters that Berlin was “isolated” in its opposition to a temporary gas price cap — which France favors as a way to contain the EU’s rampant energy crisis. Sure enough, those isolated Germans ultimately gave ground that night.
To add insult to injury, Macron also used the summit in Brussels as a stage to effectively kill off Germany’s hopes for the construction of the so-called Midcat pipeline that Berlin had hoped could bring more gas from North Africa into the heart of Europe via Spain and France. Macron preemptorily announced the construction of another energy project that would take much longer than Germany wanted.

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BERLIN/PARIS (Oct, 26) — Relations are now so icy between Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, the leaders of the EU’s two economic powerhouses, that they do not even dare to be seen together in front of the press.
The French president and German chancellor held a tête-à-tête in Paris on Wednesday, but there was no joint news conference in front of the cameras, which is normally the driest of routine diplomatic courtesies after bilateral meetings. Berlin had earlier announced that such a press appearance was going to be held. Then the Elysée Palace ruled it out.
After the working lunch concluded, officials on both sides — who did not want to be identified — argued that the meeting was a success.
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BERLIN/PARIS (Oct, 27) — After publicly falling out, Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron have found something they agree on: mounting alarm over unfair competition from the U.S. and the potential need for Europe to hit back.
The German chancellor and the French president discussed their joint concerns during nearly three-and-a-half hours of talks over a lunch of fish, wine and Champagne in Paris on Wednesday.
They agreed that recent American state subsidy plans represent market-distorting measures that aim to convince companies to shift their production to the U.S., according to people familiar with their discussions. And that is a problem they want the European Union to address.
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