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Brussels diary

Britain's new chancellor has already been outflanked by Nicolas Sarkozy, the current darling of the EU. Portugal, meanwhile, is in a pickle over its EU-Africa summit

By Manneken Pis   August 2007

Super Sarko’s strategy

Poor Alistair Darling. Just as the new chancellor of the exchequer was briefing the Brussels press corps on how Europeans hadn’t agreed on a candidate to head the IMF, several mobile phones in the room started to beep. To Darling’s embarrassment, the Portuguese EU presidency had announced by text message an EU agreement to back France’s candidate for the IMF post, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The episode marked another triumph in an impressive honeymoon for the new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has not only outmanoeuvred Britain over the IMF but eclipsed Angela Merkel as the driving force…

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