PARIS — Two days after he took office as France’s president, Emmanuel Macron flew to Berlin. It was May 16, 2017, and France and Germany needed a reset. Joined at the hip, the two nations cannot make Europe work if they don’t work together. Mr. Macron had been elected to transform France, and he was convinced that real change in his country would happen only through better European integration.
Hope was in the air as the young, ambitious but untested French president met Angela Merkel, the stern three-term German chancellor. Ms. Merkel quoted the German poet Hermann Hesse: “A magic dwells in each beginning.” Ever the realist, however, she cautiously added, “Charm lasts only if there are results.”
Two years on, the results are nowhere to be seen and the charm has given way to exasperation. When Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron met on the sidelines of a Berlin summit on the western Balkans, on April 29, their talk was kept to a strict minimum — 15 minutes. Asked at a news conference about the French-German relationship four days earlier, Mr. Macron answered in unusually blunt terms. He openly admitted for the first time that France disagreed with Germany on Brexit strategy, energy policy, climate change, trade negotiations with the United States — and the list could have been longer. Though he chose to stop there, he vowed to voice his differences firmly for the sake, he said, of “fruitful confrontations.”
Mr. Macron went on to suggest that “the German growth model has perhaps run its course.” In his view, Germany, having made belt-tightening reforms that were right for its own economy, had fully benefited from the imbalances created within the eurozone; especially hard hit were the Southern economies like Spain, Greece and Italy, for which austerity was bitter and destabilizing. These imbalances have worsened, Mr. Macron pointed out, and they now “run counter to the social project” he supports.
“This is a whole new tone from Paris,” noted Michaela Wiegel, the longtime Paris correspondent of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Emmanuel Macron no longer wants to be treated as the chancellor’s junior partner, who would keep quiet if not asked for his opinion.”
There is some irony that this newfound assertiveness from the French president toward Germany comes at a time when six months of social unrest from the so-called Yellow Vests — who have taken to the streets, sometimes violently, over France’s growing gap between rich and poor — have seriously weakened Mr. Macron’s leadership. But it is precisely because his house is on fire that he is losing patience with his biggest, wealthiest neighbor.
The new tone toward Germany comes not only from Mr. Macron, nor from Paris. Grievances differ, but they all point to one problem: political paralysis in Berlin. Several governments in the eurozone want Germany, the biggest economy in the bloc, to relax its fiscal rules and invest in infrastructure and innovation in order to provide stimulus. “When it gets cold, one should turn on the heat,” one prominent European Union politician pleaded privately. But Germany, sitting on a huge trade and fiscal surplus on top of its ever-increasing savings, is reluctant to act.
When Europe is assailed from all quarters in a world in turmoil, when most governments in the union are fighting a populist wave, Germany’s ruling coalition is behaving as if it were still navigating the calm seas of the early 2000s. “Germany has not moved for the past 10 years,” a German senior executive working for a foreign company told me angrily. “The sick man of Europe is now Germany.”
Many French experts blame Mr. Macron for placing all his bets on close cooperation with Ms. Merkel at the outset instead of reaching out to a wider range of allies within the European Union. Back in 2017, in order to win her over to his far-reaching plan for Europe, he intended to institute the domestic reforms, starting with new labor laws, that his predecessor, François Hollande, had been too weak to pass.
But German skepticism over France’s ability to deliver “was impossible to overcome,” Shahin Vallée, an economist and a former adviser to Mr. Macron, wrote in The Guardian. Similarly, the head of the German trade union D.G.B., Reiner Hoffmann, told the newspaper Der Spiegel last week that Ms. Merkel’s response to Mr. Macron’s early proposals on union reforms had been “not a response but a flat rejection.” He added, “The chancellor treated him like a little boy.”
For Jean-Marie Guéhenno, a French foreign policy expert, “It was naïve of France to think that it would be enough to imitate Germany precisely when the German model was reaching the end of its cycle.” Philippe Martin, an economic adviser to the French government, asserts that the two countries “don’t speak the same economic language,” noting, “It is difficult to negotiate when you don’t have the same model in mind.”
This is where the problem lies: French officials think the eurozone is at risk of collapsing if it does not correct its inequalities, while the Germans are happy with the status quo — because they have gained so much from it. In Paris, disappointment over Germany’s failure to follow through on European reforms under Ms. Merkel is turning into resentment.
Yet the party may be over even for Germany. Challenged by competition from China and slowed by global trade tensions, the export-powered German economy is sputtering. The German model needs to reinvent itself. Within Germany, a few audacious experts are starting to question its economic orthodoxy and to challenge one of its most sacred cows: the “schwarze Null,” or “black zero,” a 10-year-old fiscal rule that bars the government from running budget deficits. So far, though, politicians are turning a deaf ear.
Of course, there may be a measure of jealousy among Europeans, including the French, who were not brave enough to reform their economies when the weather was fairer. But beyond concern that German conservatism hurts the eurozone, there is a genuine sense of alarm, shared by many foreign policy experts in Berlin, about how Germany sees its role in a changing world — and how it sees the role of Europe, in which it is now so deeply anchored. When it comes to protecting its car industry, its gas pipeline with Russia or its political decisions on which countries to sell arms exports, Germany’s unilateral behavior is increasingly at odds with Ms. Merkel’s much-acclaimed commitment to multilateralism.
In his list of items of discord, Mr. Macron mentioned neither Germany’s retreat on military spending, despite multiplying threats from Russia, China and terrorists and heavy pressure from President Trump, nor did he discuss its reluctance to take a stand on major strategic and security issues, perhaps because these subjects are so sensitive. Or perhaps because Mr. Macron has not lost hope in his efforts to make Germany more European, rather than making Europe more German.
Sylvie Kauffmann is the editorial director and a former editor in chief of Le Monde, and a contributing opinion writer.
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【童】【飞】【和】【王】【浩】【也】【冷】【冷】【地】【看】【着】【楚】【晨】。 【楚】【陈】【的】【脸】【有】【点】【冷】，【但】【他】【没】【说】【什】【么】。 【这】【时】，【高】【仪】【在】【前】【面】【停】【了】【下】【来】，【对】【刘】【小】【惠】【说】:“【你】【是】【最】【后】【一】【个】【来】【的】。【去】【吧】。” “【高】【先】【生】【咦】!” **【辉】【和】【秦】【晶】【晶】【都】【换】【了】【脸】。 【他】【们】【不】【知】【道】【前】【方】【有】【什】【么】【危】【险】。 【一】【旦】【他】【们】【遇】【到】【危】【险】，【他】【们】【将】【首】【当】【其】【冲】，【当】【他】【们】【逃】【跑】【时】，【他】【们】【也】【是】【女】【王】【的】
【秦】【晚】【不】【想】【听】【这】【些】【阴】【冷】【的】【质】【问】，【继】【而】【影】【响】【了】【自】【己】【的】【心】【情】。 【她】【说】，“【感】【情】【是】【不】【能】【勉】【强】【的】，【你】【喜】【欢】【他】，【可】【他】【并】【不】【爱】【你】。” 【孙】【薰】【突】【然】【炸】【毛】【了】，【对】【着】【电】【话】【吼】【了】【起】【来】，“【你】【以】【为】【自】【己】【可】【以】【得】【到】【他】【吗】？” 【忽】【的】，【电】【话】【那】【头】【传】【来】【了】【天】【天】【的】【声】【音】，【孩】【子】【在】【喊】【着】，“【妈】【咪】！【妈】【咪】！” 【心】，【猛】【然】【一】【顿】！ 【秦】【晚】【脸】【色】【大】【变】，【握】【着】www.kk8080.com【百】【艘】【战】【舰】，【直】【冲】【东】【乙】。 【而】【大】【离】【旗】【舰】【上】，【则】【是】【血】【雾】【纵】【横】。【邵】【将】【军】【的】【亲】【兵】，【刚】【一】【动】【手】，【便】【已】【经】【被】【离】【北】【寒】【手】【下】【的】【其】【它】【将】【领】【斩】【杀】。 【邵】【将】【军】【则】【被】【两】【大】【翼】【族】【侍】【卫】【禁】【锢】【在】【旗】【舰】【之】【上】。 “【世】【子】，【我】【有】【何】【罪】？”【邵】【将】【军】【看】【着】【离】【北】【寒】【沉】【声】【道】。 “【你】【有】【何】【罪】？【你】【自】【己】【不】【清】【楚】【吗】？”【离】【北】【寒】【淡】【淡】【地】【冷】【笑】，【然】【后】【一】【指】【那】【已】【经】【冲】【向】【东】【乙】
【叶】【无】【极】【远】【远】【的】【跟】【着】【黑】【雾】【来】【到】【了】【枯】【灵】【沙】【漠】【之】【中】，【他】【也】【不】【敢】【跟】【的】【太】【近】，【毕】【竟】【那】【黑】【雾】【也】【是】【真】【仙】【境】【的】【强】【者】，【在】【行】【动】【中】【很】【太】【近】【很】【容】【易】【被】【察】【觉】【到】！ “【那】【苏】【家】【家】【主】【干】【嘛】【去】”？ 【很】【快】【叶】【无】【极】【便】【发】【现】【苏】【家】【家】【主】【往】【他】【这】【边】【飞】【了】【过】【来】，【看】【样】【子】【是】【要】【返】【回】【苏】【家】【去】！ 【叶】【无】【极】【目】【光】【一】【动】，【隐】【匿】【住】【了】【自】【己】【的】【气】【息】，【等】【到】【苏】【家】【家】【主】【从】【自】【己】【头】【顶】【飞】
【荣】【银】【海】【一】【字】【一】【句】【地】【说】【道】：“【你】【不】【插】【手】【这】【件】【事】，【退】【出】【兴】【荣】【帮】【帮】【主】【之】【位】【的】【争】【夺】。” 【荣】【金】【山】【不】【置】【可】【否】【道】：“【你】【让】【我】【对】【兴】【荣】【帮】【的】【叛】【乱】【袖】【手】【旁】【观】？” “【这】【不】【是】【叛】【乱】！”【荣】【银】【海】【大】【声】【道】。 “【勾】【结】【日】【本】【人】【对】【自】【己】【的】【帮】【派】【老】【大】【下】【手】，【这】【还】【不】【算】【叛】【乱】！【你】【告】【诉】【我】，【什】【么】【才】【叫】【叛】【乱】？”【荣】【金】【山】【也】【还】【以】【同】【样】【的】【怒】【吼】。 “【我】【说】【了】，
“【是】、【是】【我】……”【服】【装】【师】【助】【理】【颤】【巍】【巍】【地】【站】【出】【来】，“【可】、【可】【是】【我】【衣】【服】【都】【是】【仔】【仔】【细】【细】【检】【查】【过】【后】【才】【拿】【出】【来】【的】【啊】！【里】【面】【是】【不】【可】【能】【藏】【着】【针】【的】！” “【那】【这】【是】【什】【么】？”【张】【导】【举】【着】【那】【根】【针】【质】【问】【服】【装】【师】【助】【理】。 “【我】……【我】【也】【不】【知】【道】【啊】……”【服】【装】【师】【助】【理】【缩】【着】【肩】【膀】，【已】【经】【被】【吓】【哭】【了】。 “【对】【不】【起】【张】【导】！【都】【是】【我】【的】【疏】【忽】，【没】【把】【衣】【服】【在】【仔】