French-German Relations Cool Ahead of EU Summit

France, Germany, UK clash over handling recession
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 3:41 PM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, embraces German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy began his six-month European Union presidency by quibbling with Germany, and he appears to be ending his term the same way, Bloomberg reports. Half a year after clashing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over a Mediterranean alliance, Sarkozy shrugged off the traditional France-Germany pre-summit chat and rendezvoused with UK PM Gordon Brown ahead of today’s Brussels meeting.

“Sarkozy played the short-term game of playing along with Brown when he should have been trying to repair bridges to Berlin,” a historian says. France, Germany and Britain have been sniping over how to deal with the economic crisis, with Merkel refusing to spend her way into deficit and the German finance minister criticizing Britain’s sales-tax cut.