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Can Jacques Chirac have been serious? Does Eddie George know how close he came? Impeccable No. 10 sources say that during the marathon 11-hour lunch when Europe’s leaders hammered out their controversial deal on the new central bank, the French president suddenly came up with an innovative solution. If Tony Blair would announce that Britain would join the euro-zone forthwith, then Chirac would drop his demand for Jean-Claude Trichet to run the bank, and approve a British president to run the ECB for a full eight-year term. Helmut Kohl didn’t even have time to blink, nor Holland’s Wim Kok to…

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