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Vive the entente — until July


anglo1.jpgCommentators are revelling in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s effusive praise of Britain and drooling over the fashion sense of his wife but several see stormier waters ahead — specifically in the second half of the year from July when France takes over the presidency of the European Union.

Leader writers see problems in the two countries’ approach to Europe, particularly over France’s desire for closer European defence co-operation and a permanent EU president.

“The excitement generated by the Sarkozys’ visit will soon give way to prosaic confirmation of the old divides,” was the Daily Telegraph’s opinion.

“Gordon Brown is decidedly cool towards the EU and he could soon find himself at odds with a man who has an extremely ambitious agenda for the French presidency,” it added.

Vive la difference?


eiffel1.jpgThe entente hasn’t been quite so cordiale for some time, judging by a ragbag of pointers in the newspapers over recent weeks.

Young French people are coming to live and work in London in record numbers, it seems, to the extent there’s now even an area named after them, in the manner of Little Italy or Kangaroo Valley. The fact that it’s rather rudely called Frog Alley should not diminish the importance of this significant milestone.