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Chirac’s one-upmanship

“Bons auspices footballistiques,” certainly, for France’s stewardship of the EU. But confusion, too, over mixed signals from Paris. Listening to Jacques Chirac’s speech in Berlin, your average euro-punter might have been forgiven for thinking that European integration was about to make a great leap forward. Yet, on closer examination, the presidential address was more about visionary one-upmanship-and clearly triggered by Joschka Fischer’s federal musings of a few weeks earlier (see p38).

In Brussels, where these things are as closely observed as a Zidane penalty kick, it was hard not to spot what was missing. Chirac said not one…

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