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Madrid View: Saving Private Ashton

First was Tunis, then Egypt, later Libya. The EU failed in its diagnosis about regime stability, never quite supported the protesters and was late divided about Libya. To its merit, Brussels has acknowledged its failure and has set EUMED policy on a new footing.  Paradoxically, Commisioner's Füle acceptance of past mistakes has allowed member states to skip the blame, when in fact they are much more responsible of EUs failed Med Policy than Brussels.

As for the criticism of being slow in reacting to changes, it is a fair one, but easy to excuse. Diplomacy is, after all, little else than the constant exercise of cautiosness when facing change. See Obama: having a well greased diplomatc machinery and effective leadership did not prevent US foreign policy from dithering when faced with revolutionary changes in the MENA region.

As for divisiveness, we tend to forget that

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Madrid view: no happy ending yet

 

Yesterday, we saw Zapatero concentrated in reading his papers before the European Council started when Merkel entered the room and directly went to see him. He stood up and then, after the usual two kisses which are due to the Spanish tradition, they had a lively exchange. It looked as if Merkel was telling Zapatero “do not believe those who say Germany is not willing to save the eurozone”.   

Apparently, Merkel has taken enough fire: from her own Parliament; from other governments, and from the European press and she is now willing to be more reassuring about Germany’s role. This is all fine, and anything done to reassure markets is welcome, but if you have already have to move twice the firewall from one place to another, from Greece to Ireland, and now to Portugal, it might well mean that there is something failing.

This is what is happening with the EFSF and the doubling

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