The time is gone when Dominique de Villepin — now French prime minister — was lecturing the United States at the United Nations and French President Jacques Chirac was telling the new members of the European Union that they lost an opportunity to shut upwrites Sylvain Chabat in the Washington Times (merci à Dusty).
Arrogance does not pay, and now the French government is adopting a low profile since the European project seems in a dead end.
European consensus has not been reached over the last two years which witnessed three crucial crises mainly due to the French stubbornness. In each of theses crisis, the same scheme is to be found: A French and German couple promoting a dirigiste agenda opposed to a free-trade group composed of Eastern, Nordic and English-speaking nations.
That was indeed the case during the diplomatic crisis over the intervention in Iraq, the political crisis over the referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty, and the economic crisis over the budgetary negotiations which failed this summer.