It is hard to keep track of the many ideas, initiatives and moves of the new and ubiquitous French “hyper-president” Nicolas Sarkozy. Besides saving the European summit, having his wife rescue Bulgarian nurses in Libya, placing a Frenchman at the helm of the International Monetary Fund and many domestic initiatives, he has made some remarkable moves in the area of European economic policy. Mr. Sarkozy ensured that “free and undistorted competition” was removed as a goal of the European Union, he demanded that the European Central Bank (ECB) lower the interest rate in order to increase employment and growth in Europe, and he requested from EcoFin (the body of European ministers of Finance and Economics) that they accept a delay in France’s obligation to reduce its deficit. Finally, he revived an earlier French proposal, going back to President François Mitterrand who vented the idea in 1990, that a counterweight to the independent ECB be created – a European Economic Government that could preferably issue directives to the ECB or at least influence the monetary policy of the Frankfurt institution.
Full article available only as PDF