Francois Hollande upsets Fiscal Treaty apple cart

By proposing that the EU adopt a new “growth pact” alongside the new Fiscal Treaty, French presidential candidate (and likely winner) Francois Hollande has dramatically shifted the politics of Eurozone reform. See report here. Critics of the Fiscal Treaty’s exclusive focus on budget discipline will welcome this move, but it seriously complicates the Irish government’s planning for the 31 May referendum by offering the distinct possibility that the Fiscal Treaty will not be the final keystone of Eurozone reform. How should the many Irish sceptics of the FT interpret this move — as a reassuring indication that the FT will soon be balanced by more growth-friendly measures or as evidence that the FT can be safely rejected because the whole reform package will soon be renegotiated? Many such proposals have been mooted before, only to be rejected by Angela Merkl, but a new tenant in the Elysee will almost certainly cause Germany to rethink its position somewhat, if only to moderate the widespread impression that Berlin is calling the shots for Europe.

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