French politics / Let's talk about Europe

French Socialist Party’s German phobia temptation?

Angela Merkel, German chancellor and François Hollande, French Republic President, on May 2012

Angela Merkel, German chancellor and François Hollande, French Republic President, on May 2012

A text was enough to create polemic and cacophony again.

In the framework of their future conference about Europe and looking forward the 2014 European elections, the French Socialist Party adopted a resolution which firmly criticizes Angela Merkel and her “inflexible selfishness”. This resolution was not unnoticed, Claude Bartolone, current speaker of the French national Assembly, even wowed a “confrontation” with the German chancellor.

These statements provoked a huge controversy within French politics – in the opposition and in the government – reminding Arnaud Montebourg’s statements who compared, on November 2011, Merkel to Bismarck.

Some political analysts and columnists became worried about the French socialists’ radical position vis-à-vis Germany and European integration. Pointing out Angela Merkel and her all-austerity strategy, some French socialists (mainly from the left wing) are looking for accusing the Chancellor and her inflexibility even if it means to get Jean-Marc Ayrault Cabinet back up, some members as Manuel Valls and Prime minister himself want, due to diplomatic reasons, to appease the situation with the Christian-democratic leader, reaffirming the importance of the French-German tandem, real engine of the European Union.


François Hollande, at that time socialist candidate for the French presidential election, and Sigmar Gabriel, SPD leader during the SPD congress in Berlin, on November 2011

Incriminating Angela Merkel, the French Socialist Party left wing and Claude Bartolone less target Germany and European integration and bet more on a possible come-back of the German social-democratic party (SPD) in power just after the next 24th of September legislative elections. Such reasoning is not so stupid insofar as the German social-democrats may still win the elections – according to the polls – but quite hazardous. Indeed, far to be rejected, Angela Merkel still seems to be popular within the German people and may really get a third term as Helmut Kohl in the past.

In other words, the French Socialist Party is rather looking for giving a hand to the German SPD which clearly backed François Hollande during the previous French presidential election, than tackling Germany. Criticizing austerity, the French Socialist Party left wing wants to reaffirm its identity but also its critic of an European Union its considers as too free-marketer and Angela Merkel embodies too much. And the recent Martin Schulz – socialist chairman of the European Parliament – and Jose Manuel Barroso’s – President of the European Commission – statements, questioning austerity measures, can only give reason to the French socialists left wing.


Claude Bartolone, speaker of the French national Assembly, delivering a speech in the Bundestag, on January 2013

Nonetheless, this favour in return cannot hide the discord there still seems to exist within the French socialists vis-à-vis the European integration and especially the strategy face to crisis, even if it means add more cacophony, at the moment it is requested to the French President of the Republic a speech of clearness and truth. Tackling Angela Merkel, some ministers as Benoit Hamon or Arnaud Montebourg and Speaker of the French national Assembly, Claude Bartolone, relayed by some members of the French Socialist Party left wing, are taking the risk to make François Hollande’s speech non-understandable and inaudible, although the French leader was in favour a “friendly tension” with Angela Merkel some weeks ago. They are especially taking the risk to awake tensions vis-à-vis Europe, expressed with violence during the referendum regarding the ratification of the European Constitutional Treaty in 2005.

3 thoughts on “French Socialist Party’s German phobia temptation?

  1. A politica Francesa deve mundar e é a hora da iguladade dentro do espaço europeu porque nunca tinha acontecido pondo o fim á igualdade dos estados abandonando o espirito de solidareidade entre os povos marginalizando a Comissão Europeia e ignorando o método comunitário Da Alemanha Europeia passou-se á Europa Alemã

    • Thank you Eusebio but please, can you rewrite your comment in English in order everybody to understand your point of view?

  2. Pingback: Claude Bartolone, next François Hollande’s PM? | actupol 3.0_en

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