One upon a time there were two lovers living on each side of the river Rhein , natural border between current Germany and France.

During centuries they would sometimes live together and some other time yell at each other.

Problems were piling up and after centuries of a reasonable couple-life, passive love gave place to active hate. In 1870 and 1914, the volcano erupted again. Thousand lost their live, their homes …When Hitler came into power, Europe was invaded by nazi Germany. France would cooperate for a while this was called the “ Collaboration period “. Millions lost their lives. The war ended and this was the time of a new trend and active love period : two statesmen , the German Konrad Adenauer and the French General De Gaulle understood that it was time to consolidate peace and decide for a common vehicle and pacific life anew . Europe was about to have father and mother. Now jumping into the 21st century, the picture is bleak enough . Germany and France are too different to find a common language except on limited subjects.

Sometimes the French government would give Germany as an example of economical success, sometimes it would reject it as not applicable. Both countries are too much dissimilar to join efforts and where there is no will there is no skill ! On the other side the German Chancellor , only chief of government reelected since she took power cannot share the French exception — permanently stressed to justify or explain what the French cannot or won’t accept…

The TEFTA treaty under discussion between the US and Europe is the last example in a row of other more or less covert battles. The struggle re. the flow of Syrian immigrants is another issue where both countries strongly disagree. Germany clearly needs to anticipate its reduction in births and France with its high rate of unemployment ( over 10% vs. 5% for Germany) cannot accept high figures ( it acknowledged less than 35.000 people over a period of 2 years, maybe …)

All those issue have created a hardly acceptable hurdle between the 2 countries, each facing general elections soon. Germany in the fall and France in April 2017. Consequently we are close to a stillstand…

Unless those two major partners succeed again in joining forces and follow the same goals, Europe will remain a giants with porcelaine feet !