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Clashing centres

Recent clashes over European tax harmonisation have underlined the significant differences between Tony Blair's New Labour and Gerhard Schröder's New Centre in Germany. The gulf in political culture is also evident in recent books by advisers to the respective leaders - Philip Gould and Bodo Hombach

By Anne McElvoy   January 1999

New Britain: new Germany. The two countries which often seem to represent opposite poles in European political and economic life are showing a remarkable level of interest in each other’s fin-de-si?le realignments. This goes beyond the polite curiosity we might expect to show one another on the eve of the euro’s arrival and the next step of European integration. It entails a kind of intimate narrative intrigue-a fascination in Germany with what will happen next to Tony, and characteristic British headshaking about whether Gerhard and Oskar can really get along together.

The German hunger for news of the latest Blairite…

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