The French Enigma and Germany's dithering

27/01/2011 by

In response to my post Why is Europe dithering? George Krimpas sent me the following. It may well be he is right. But what does everyone else think?

George Krimpas: I am particularly pleased that you have now explicitly used your game-theoretic expertise to reframe the geopolitical dialectic – which I had tried to approximate in historical political economy terms in my Wither Europe piece.  I think your formalism improves the approximation by clarifying the types of alternative these particular players must objectively face.  However, I find the argument persuasive but not thoroughly convincing.  This is because historical political economy suggests that, for those hands-on players as distinct from ‘us’ independents but powerless, there is also immense confusion.

If that were not the case, the French would call the Germans’ bluff [for that is what is] right now, when France still has the option to engineer a gang-up against the Germans. And the Germans would know this, now.  With both confused, as I presume, it is possible for the Germans to be silent whilst the French effect to steer them, allowing meanwhile all the little people, e.g. the Commission and even the ECB, to produce all the right sounding hopeful noises.

Pity you missed Michel Barnier’s talk last week, a Gaullist swan song amounting to a suicide pact, l’essentiel est de preparer l’Europe pour une place a la table, the table being the grand new concert of powers which the French see emerging out of their individual reach, hence the marriage of necessity – way beyond convenience and in all likelihood unachievable – with any possibly Germany.  I see the present situation as a grinding of teeth.  Besides, there are elections everywhere soon to come.

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