The next year, Jacques Chirac will take leave of the Elysee Palace. By then or soon after, Tony Blair leaves Downing Street. Gerhard Schroeder pursue its concerns on behalf of the Russian group Gazprom to the orders of Vladimir Putin, and he advises a tabloid newspaper publisher. For its part, Silvio Berlusconi will now focus on the trials ahead if the new Government restores the rule of law. Phew! Europe out of a period where the leaders of the four largest nations are discredited.
The Chirac years were not beneficial to the France, which is the strangest. She lost weight, time, luster and a decisive referendum on the European Constitution. Jacques Chirac, who had no project, simply manage at most power and his rivalry with Edouard Balladur and Nicolas Sarkozy.
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At least he stood up to the warmongers George w. Bush, and, for the first time in its history, the RFA is allied with the France to counter the United States. But the President of the Republic and the Federal Chancellor were unable to structure their agreement so that it leads to a common foreign policy. It is by the France and the Germany that the CFSP: the European Union common security and foreign policy.
Gerhard SchrÃ¶der was popular, it is more. The Germans are a little ashamed of this former Chancellor at the service of the despot of the Kremlin. Because Schroeder chaired the company, domiciled in a Swiss tax haven, which will build the Russian-German gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea: a project that the Chancellor had endorsed just before his departure, to which his Government had given a secret deposit of EUR 1 billion after losing the elections. Irate, the Polish and the Baltic States saw a new "axis" Berlin-Moscow. And the Germans found that profiteering of SchrÃ¶der is foul-smelling.
Its merit is to have lowered taxes and launched reforms in Germany. But he botched all of its projects, with perverse and unexpected effects. The most competitive German groups have been virtually exempted taxes; the new unemployment insurance is a plant in gas more expensive than before; and the revival of the East German economy was a fiasco: the State provides many subsidies to little effect.
The RFA was the Chancellor of its history at the time when the France faced the more inconsistent President of the Fifth Republic. While in its early years Tony Blair has inspired confidence. But his countrymen to forgive even less his lies at the threshold of the Iraq war. As the support he gave to the US President has not been paid: Bush never made concessions to his English page. In addition, Tony Blair landed in Europe leader in his speech to the Parliament in Strasbourg, but he remained a carpet merchant. The negotiations on the rebate to Britain, he sickened his liberal allies in particular Eastern Europe. It is difficult to be both European and island!
Blair invited the British to take advantage of globalization instead of the bashing. But Britain continues to lose its industrial substance. Its effect is based on the City; It is much but enough unilateral. It does this labour was well managed and somewhat toned down the anticipated inheritance of Margaret Thatcher. The rate of growth of the Blair years made dream the French, the Germans and, a fortiori, the Italians.
These are in bad shape at the end of the Berlusconi years, the worse of all. The Cavaliere did not reform. To fight the Italian headache, it had words. Accustomed to devalue the lira when there was grain, the Italy was unable to submit to the discipline imposed by the euro. Costs, deficits and price increase, the country is more competitive. The days of Alitalia appear to be counted, and most of the major private groups have sunk, with the exception of Generali insurance, which take their rank, and Fiat, which is recovering but remains fragile. Most importantly, the multitude of small manufacturing companies undergoes head-on competition from Asia, where the labour costs nothing the Italy has more strategy.
Forza Italia took back the country. And Silvio Berlusconi won power for abuse. Because he was sued, it has weakened the judges. Because he had violated the laws, he changed them with a Parliament in the service of a business leader who incidentally was head of Government. If Italy Berlusconi had to apply for membership in the European Union, it does not meet the criteria.
Europe out of a period where the big four nations lost credit, and the Poland just plunge into populism. In contrast, number 18 small countries of the EU of the Ireland to the Slovakia, of the Finland to the Slovenia are doing well. This calls into question the European balances. Small, who are not in a position to exercise leadership, are growing in strength. And the great, which Europe depends as soon as it is to take ambitious initiatives, are ankylosÃ©s and divided.
The "gang of four" of these last years was not good Europeans, the least that can be said. Over time, this does failed them, or the relentlessness of three of them Blair, SchrÃ¶der, Berlusconi to manipulate the media and public opinion instead of being carriers of projects. In addition, they have all confused their troops: Blair and SchrÃ¶der were often left to right the right men, Chirac is right without being, while Berlusconi had no other program itself. This has added to the mistrust that swept Europe. Long live the end of the purposes of reign!
And say that George w. Bush, who is a "lame duck" he also still has for three years... But that is another story, not more edifying than Berlusconi, Blair, Chirac and SchrÃ¶der. Their successors will have to restore confidence. In Germany, Angela Merkel is there working, not without success. It is a good omen.