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France profonde

Without the Franco-German "motor," the European machine would grind to a halt. This suits Chirac just fine, but Germany's next chancellor sees it as a major problem

By Tim King   September 2005

When Angela Merkel visited Paris in July, the French press were interested in only one thing: if she won the election in September, would the Franco-German “motor” survive? To some, even in Germany, the idea of the motor may seem abstract, but to many French the alliance is essential to their vision of Europe.

In the aftermath of the second world war, France distrusted Germany, keeping her weak, working with Britain at an anti-German alliance. But as the years went by, it became clear that Britain would not give up the special relationship with America, so France had to look…

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