The per­for­mance at Ver­sailles

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY COSTAS IORDANIDIS

clout. Italy’s eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion is the sub­ject of lament for sea­soned an­a­lysts the world over, France’s per­for­mance in re­forms and fis­cal ad­just­ment have been lim­ited, and while there have been ev­i­dent signs of a re­cov­ery in Spain, its role is clearly not de­ci­sive. Given that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of such de­ci­sions nor­mally re­quires a lengthy ges­ta­tion pe­riod, the Ver­sailles mini-sum­mit was badly timed. Nev­er­the­less, it served a po­lit­i­cal pur­pose for at least one of the four lead­ers. The mes­sage from the meet­ing had two parts: the first was a tacit con­fir­ma­tion that united Europe as we know it to­day has come to an end, and the sec­ond that it is now pos­si­ble to se­cure faster progress for the most de­vel­oped coun­tries. The in­tended au­di­ence of the lat­ter part of the mes­sage is ob­vi­ously the peo­ple of France, where Marine Le Pen’s Na­tional Front is lead­ing in the polls, but also the Ger­mans, who have so far shown a wor­ry­ing pref­er­ence for the eu­roskep­tic AfD. The mes­sage is equally im­por­tant for Italy, where the Five Star Move­ment and North­ern League are an­i­mated by anti-Euro­pean sen­ti­ment. The is­sue does not seem to con­cern Spain, which is the only coun­try in Europe where the right has re­mained united and the rad­i­cal left

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