Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Germans & French occupy top crucial EU roles

The French were always very good at having good candidates ready when important International jobs fall vacant. Thus Mme Lagarde who is French succeeded Strauss Kahn as IMF Managing Director. This ensured that the IMF backed the Franco Prussian line on Greek debt ignoring the rational arguments  on the other side for letting Greece leave the EU. This support was inevitable given Mme Lagarde also has domestic French political ambitions requiring Franco Prussian goodwill. Madame LaPresidente has a certain ring to it and would sit well with Madam President Hilary Clinton or Carly Fiorina in the US post Obama.

Prior to Strauss Kahn there have been two recent French IMF MDs,

Michel Camdessus, from France, was Managing Director from January 16, 1987 to February 14, 2000

Jacques de Larosière, from France, was Managing Director from June 17, 1978 to January 15, 1987


Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, from France, was Managing Director from September 1, 1963 to August 31, 1973

Since the IMF was formed by Keynes in 1946 out of 11 MDs there has been 5 French MDs. The next nationality is Sweden with 2 then singleton Belgian, Duitchman, German and Spaniard. If we count up the years under French control it comes to 42 years out of the 78 years since 1946. Thats because the French once in like to do two or more terms.There has never been a British IMF MD. The FCO consider it beneath them to lobby for Brit candidates. Hence we get well and truly shafted by this  unsavoury collection of mid-Europeans.

This pattern continues with the so called European Parliament. Volkswagen as we all by now know has been caught by the Yanks cheating the system.

This will fall within the remit of the European Parliaments trade committee which is chaired by German SDP MEP Bernd Lang who happens to represent Lower Saxony,  home to Wolfsburg Volkswagen's main manufacturing base. Conveniently Mr Lang is also the main negotiator on the current Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership tals or TTIP for short.

The EU is as Nick Ridley noted 30 years ago a German racket and they have learned well from the French how to play it. The playing fields of Eton are irrelevant old hat!.

The US have a long history of being much harsher on foreign companies regulatory bereaches than domestic companies. Hence recently GM were fined a paltry $900m for faulty ignitions linked to 100 fatalities. BP on the other hand. a British company, as Obama never tired of saying responsible for 13 accidental deaths was hit for $50 bn in fines for what was a clear accident.

Why do the Yanks behave like this? The reason is as old as the Romans, only those with US Presidential votes count. Read Cicero! In the run up to a US Presidential elections I will be fascinated to see if La Clinton and La Fiorina repeatedly castigate VW as a "German Corporation"

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