Thursday, October 29, 2009

11 novembre

Nicolas Sarkozy wanted for a long time to make a strong gesture towards Germany, amounting to the one that made his predecessor, François Mitterrand, when he took by the hand the chancellor Helmut Kohl during the remembrance of the battle of Verdun, in 1984. It is now made : today, on the eve of the European council which will take place in Brussels on Thursday evening and Friday, and just before the dinner between the President and the hardly reelected German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Elysée announced that November 11th would remain a holiday, but that it would not celebrate any more the armistice of 1918: " Nicolas Sarkozy wishes, after the death of the last Poilu (Lazare Ponticelli, died in 110 years, on March 12th, 2008), that November 11th becomes the day of French-German reconciliation, to build a shared future ". The President just announced to the Chancellor: " I shall be November 9th in Berlin at your side for the anniversary of the fall of the Wall " which was " an absolutely considerable event ". And " November 11th, we shall be together in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe ". November 11th is not celebrated in Germany and it is no holiday for the community institutions, no more than May 8th (which celebrates the German surrender in 1945). Germany never understood (me neither actually) that France carries on celebrating this anniversary, which celebrates the end of an European civil war which prepared the other one, that of 1939-1945. It remains to delete May 8th and to replace it by May 9th, anniversary of the declaration of Robert Schuman which launched the construction of the European community and become the celebration of Europe (it is a holiday for the community institutions).

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