French political life is always full of surprises: while some seem past their best (de Villepin), and others are positively wilting (Chirac), new stars constantly appear in the galaxy. In this case Europe Minister Catherine Colonna. Her agility on the Turkey issue, and her sound sense on the ECB make her stand out against what is admittedly a not especially ‘brilliant’ background. Still, maybe when Sarkozy gets over his marital issues he’ll start to give her a run for her money.
On the ECB
Philippe Douste-Blazy: ?Everyone can see that the euro today remains an unfinished project, for lack of a seriously co-ordinated economic policy between members of the eurozone,? he said. ?Let us not leave economic and budget policy to the European Central Bank, let us not leave it just to the European Commission, to people who are not elected.?
Catherine Colonna: ‘elaborated’ on her senior minister’s remarks, saying the eurozone’s policymakers should focus more on citizens’ main concerns jobs and growth while respecting the ECB’s independence. ?Fiscal harmonisation is another important avenue that must be pursued.?
On Turkey Negotiations
Jacques Chirac: “Turkey needs to recognise Cyprus ….the continuing failure to do so poses political and legal problems and is not in the spirit expected of a candidate to the union?.
Catherine Colonna: ?When it comes to Turkey, its future with the EU accession or another solution can only be written at the end of a long process….?Between now and then, the rules have been set out: if the conditions set are met, the negotiations can begin.?