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Four months ago it had seemed like French President Francois Hollande was seeking out a political space, so he could stake out a foreign policy that would be in the interests of his country, even if it pissed off Washington.
Well yesterday he folded like a house of cards. Nothing of substance has changed in the Ukraine since then. So one has one has to question why this years winner of the stupid mouth award has changed his mind?
As Hollande’s political position more than most is “whichever way the wind blows” it is possible he may change his mind yet again. But the damage has now been done, in that Hollande has proven to Moscow that Paris is not a reliable trading partner. His waffling on the Mistral Warship deal will hurt trade between the two countries beyond any EU and Moscow imposed sanctions.
With the economy in France dead on the water and unemployment at 11% and rapidly accelerating, one would think that the last thing Hollande would want is to gratuitously damage his relationship with a major trade partner?
But Hollande didn’t get to be as unpopular as he is, (only 20% of French people believe that he will turn their economy around), by being the brightest bulb in the marquee or having policies that he will stand by.