Texto do Financial Times diz que o presidente da França vai propor a formação de um governo europeu. O jornal não sabe bem o que isto significa e aponta que François Hollande quer apenas ganhar dividendos políticos. Mas diz que ele vai lançar a ideia oficialmente.
Como se não bastasse a falta de liberdade econômica que a moeda única traz aos países e o avanço da União Europeia sobre a cultura dos países, o que inclui tentar forçar a adoção do casamento gay e ampliar o aborto, a França socialista de Hollande quer apertar ainda mais as correntes.
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Hollande eyes push for ‘eurozone government’
French leader seeks to unite pro-Europeans two years out from presidential election
Resented by many in his camp for giving in to German chancellor Angela Merkel on budget discipline shortly after being elected in 2012, Mr Hollande seems serious this time. French proposals will be presented by the end of summer, according to Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
“France is ready because, as demonstrated by Jacques Delors, it rises above itself when it takes the initiative in Europe,” Mr Hollande explained in a letter published in Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, reiterating comments he had made on Bastille day.
Detailed measures that go beyond the habitual calls for more “solidarity” and “social and fiscal convergence” would be a first. “This notion of economic government is a French request that dates back several decades,” Nicolas Véron, senior fellow at Brussels-based think-tank Bruegel, says. “But I’ve never seen anything on what it actually means. I am looking forward to seeing this document, if there is ever a document.”
Paris’ plan is met with scepticism across Europe, Mr Veron points out, because “France has never managed to reconcile the contradiction between its attachment to sovereignty and this European ideal”. Mr Hollande may be sincere, but France’s fantasy of European integration has, so far, clashed with an entrenched sense of national independence inherited from Charles de Gaulle.
Even if Paris lays out measures, there is little chance they will get any traction in Germany. Worse, Mr Veron says, the mere fact of presenting them would likely widen the rift between Paris and Berlin that emerged during the acrimonious talks over Greece 10 days ago — a rift that Mr Hollande has been anxious to paper over.
So why trumpet this plan in the first place? The answer is politics. Two years out from the presidential election, the defining faultline in the French political landscape is changing from left-right to pro and anti-Europe.
“He is seeking to unite the pro-Europeans behind him while showing he can stand up to Germany,” says Dominique Moïsi, founder of the French Institute for International Relations. “Europe is unpopular, but there’s a place for someone who defends the euro, because the alternative, an exit, is too scary. The lesson of the Greek crisis is that even a radical left government like Syriza does not want to take that risk.”
But what if the French proposals are blocked by Germany, or Greece exits the eurozone? “He may be making those proposals precisely because they lead nowhere,” Mr Moïsi says. “From a domestic point of view, it costs nothing. If things go awry, people will still remember his efforts.”
The fact that Mr Hollande’s main opponents on the right, Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé, flirted with the idea of Grexit only to backtrack, have reinforced the president’s claim to the true defender of eurozone unity.
Mr Hollande, who is an optimist, hopes that with a bit of luck and a recovering economy, voters will realise he is not such a catastrophic leader, Mr Moïsi says.
There is no real evidence for it yet. In one recent opinion poll, Mr Hollande’s approval rating rose by five points to 28 per cent but in another there was no change. Any bounce could be shortlived as the left grasps the nature of the Greek plan the president has signed up for — tough reforms, tax hikes and spending cuts in exchange for €86bn in new loans, but no firm commitment to debt relief.
The Greek deal “is proof that the tenets of the left may be incompatible with the eurozone, that there’s no way out of the German diktat”, says Laurent Bouvet, political sciences professor at Versailles University. The real winner could be Marine Le Pen, the National Front leader who has been advocating a “Frexit”, he says. The regional elections in December will serve as a critical test.
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