Daily Archives: July 7, 2009

To follow up on Monday’s blog, in which I suggested it was extremely unlikely that Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini would achieve his ambition of becoming the European Union’s next foreign policy chief, the obvious question is – well, who will get the job?

Three names keep cropping up.  One is Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, a Dutchman who has served as Nato’s secretary-general since 2004 and who is about to be replaced by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister.  The second is Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, who is another ex-premier.  The third is Olli Rehn, a Finn who is the EU’s enlargement commissioner. 

With the G8 around the corner, key issues are jostling for positions atop the agenda.

Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, in a pre-summit mini-summit are pushing economic growth to feature again: “the French president and British prime minister expressed their concern that tentative hopes of a recovery could be crushed if other leading economies failed to kick-start bank lending or curb rising protectionism,” says our man in Evian. The suspicion is that Germany is ready to revert to fiscal discipline too early.