Question: What do the European Central Bank, EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, French army commanders, French public television broadcasters, the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and Snagglepuss the Mountain Lion have in common? Answer: they have all come under withering attack in the past week or two from President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
Actually, Snagglepuss hasn’t, but Sarkozy has sprayed his ammunition so far and wide that it was probably a close-run thing. It would be easy to dismiss the presidential antics - imagine Silvio Berlusconi on speed and you are halfway there - as a huge embarrassment for France just as it started its six-month European Union presidency on July 1. But I reckon there is a great deal of method in Sarkozy’s madness.