The horse Sarkozy rides in on

Graham Parker has an interesting take on French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy over at the FT’s Brussels Blog. The conventional wisdom among the Economist/Financial Times set in Europe is that Sarkozy is exactly what France’s heavily statist and rigid economy needs. Parker worries, though, that Sarko will get on everyone’s nerves once he’s in office ...

602276_070426_napoleon_05.jpg
602276_070426_napoleon_05.jpg

Graham Parker has an interesting take on French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy over at the FT's Brussels Blog. The conventional wisdom among the Economist/Financial Times set in Europe is that Sarkozy is exactly what France's heavily statist and rigid economy needs. Parker worries, though, that Sarko will get on everyone's nerves once he's in office (assuming he wins on May 6):

... [L]eave aside policy for a minute and imagine what Sarko would be like on a personal level on the European stage. If you think Chirac tried to dominate European summits, wait until you see the little cowboy in action. [...]

As Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, says: "Europe is the antithesis of his approach. He always wants to be acting constantly, getting into details, while Europe lays down rules to constrain the action of national politicians."

Graham Parker has an interesting take on French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy over at the FT’s Brussels Blog. The conventional wisdom among the Economist/Financial Times set in Europe is that Sarkozy is exactly what France’s heavily statist and rigid economy needs. Parker worries, though, that Sarko will get on everyone’s nerves once he’s in office (assuming he wins on May 6):

… [L]eave aside policy for a minute and imagine what Sarko would be like on a personal level on the European stage. If you think Chirac tried to dominate European summits, wait until you see the little cowboy in action. […]

As Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, says: “Europe is the antithesis of his approach. He always wants to be acting constantly, getting into details, while Europe lays down rules to constrain the action of national politicians.”

Even if Sarko’s policy agenda is one of modernisation, how long before his assertive French Gaullism, taste for the limelight and ill-considered initiatives, start to get on the nerves of his colleagues?

Parker then points to Sarkozy’s April 20th appearance on a white horse as a potential indicator of a “more macho political style” that could rub Europe’s other leaders the wrong way. I can see how the horse thing might remind them of certain past French leaders:

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