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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 17 agosto 2011 alle ore 17:23.


From the market perspective, yesterday the much-awaited summit between Merkel and Sarkozy has occurred on Mars. Meanwhile, a relentless financial crisis was enraging on planet Earth and the economic stagnation kept striking.

The French and German leaders have not managed to endorse the strengthening of the Financial Stability Fund, and have postponed to the end of the crisis the possible adoption of Eurobonds. They have spoken about the future bigger integration with grand rhetoric, but have shut their eyes and their ears to the present problems.

The weakness of France, doomed to lose its triple "A", has pressed Sarkozy towards Merkel's minimalist position. The only relevant result headed for the present crisis is that the German Chancellor has offered the French President a new edge. Sarkozy's goal, in fact, consists in trying his best and avoiding any impression of detachment between the two countries, in order not to expose the French fiscal weakness. The interesting project of a shared authority on all French and German companies aims first of all at strengthening the image of one economic area across the Rhine.

Yesterday's proposals are attractive, yet they are unpractical and failed to impress. The suggestion of a new "European Economic Government", for instance, comes down to monthly meetings among "Heads", in other words state and government leaders of the Seventeen countries who have already been meeting almost every month for three years. The idea of a technical and "supranational" Authority, such as the Commission, entrusted with common choices, has been discarded.

Unfortunately, the "Golden Rule" (also known as the "constitutionalization" of balanced budgets) is too much a rough surrogate to have any political credibility. In this setting of general protection and concern for all national privileges, it is difficult to foresee how the taxation of all financial transactions will be implemented. Nevertheless, this is indeed an interesting proposal, although still bursting with unknown factors and strong national interests.

The real surprise of yesterday's summit was the leaders' very message of noncommittal ambition, just a few hours after the disheartening data about stagnation in the second quarter of 2011 in both countries. The abrupt setback of the French and the German economies is a reflection of the global weakness, and of the economic cyclic interdependence in Europe as well. Moreover, it discloses that to separate the strong countries from the weak - although they all share the same currency, and therefore they all belong to the same political body - it is simply make-believe. In part, the anxious abstinence of German consumers and French investors is due to the lack of confidence created in the Eurozone by the crisis. It is not accident that the economic trend has worsened in all triple "A" countries.

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