Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cameron still struggling to make Friends in Germany

From the FT:

David Cameron made a fresh attempt to forge close relations with a prominent European centre-right party yesterday when he travelled to Bavaria for a meeting with Edmund Stoiber, leader of Germany's Christian Social Union (CSU).

However, Mr Cameron continues to be dogged by an apparent refusal by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and leader of the more prominent centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), to meet him.

........Ms Merkel is believed to be shunning Mr Cameron out of irritation over Tory plans eventually to quit the European People's party, the mainstream centre-right grouping in the European parliament. Ms Merkel, whose government now holds the presidency of the European Union, has not met Mr Cameron since late 2005 when she became German chancellor and he won the Conservative leadership.

.........Mr Stoiber, by contrast, holds no formal office in the national German government and is under pressure to stand down as CSU leader ahead of state elections next year in Bavaria where the party has governed virtually without interruption for nearly 60 years.

Many in the German centre-right continue to regard membership of the EPP as an essential hallmark of a party's commitment to the political mainstream. The Tories have pledged to quit the EPP by 2009 because they do not share its commitment to further European integration.

This could go on for years. What's the betting Cameron caves?


Jose said...

I wonder what importance belonging to a European political tendency may have. It constrains you to exercise the vote discipline, while if you do not belong to any particular tendency you are free to vote as it befits your own country.

Jose said...

This reminds me of another British leader before WWII, who tried to "pacify" Hitler's Germany. In that case it was a military issue, today it is an economic one.

Chamberlain was in command then, Cameron is not yet in command, although if Labour leaders keep making mistakes there seem to be possibilities for him.