Saturday, December 17, 2005

Angie’s summit

According to the FT,
Angela Merkel, Germany’s new chancellor, played a crucial role in efforts to reach a deal – not least in her attempt to build bridges between France, Britain and Poland.
Update: Daniel Dombey adds that after five countries claimed be the biggest single contributor to EU coffers, she quipped that 'the sorry level of mathematics showed that European universities had to improve their standard of teaching.'

In a further article, Quentin Peel says, 'Merkel impresses with plain speaking.'
From the start of the summit, she impressed leaders with her command of the detail involved in settling a seven-year budget deal. […] French officials were impressed by her style. "She is very good on the details, but also very careful not to give away her bottom line," said one diplomat who saw her in action at bilateral meetings with Jacques Chirac, the French president.
For the British, though, "Frankly, the biggest thing is she is not Gerhard Schröder," said one official.

Meanwhile, Schröder’s pal, Vladimir Putin has been turning his attention further south
ON HIS fourth visit to Russia since June, President Islam Karimov last month signed an unusually close mutual defence pact with his new best friend. It is believed to pave the way for Russia's intervention in any fresh uprising like the one in the city of Andijan in May, where up to 1,000 demonstrators were killed by troops. It may also coincide with the rumoured opening of a Russian base for special forces in Ferghana, close to Andijan.…
The rest is subscribers only, but you get the idea.

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