What Shall We Call the New Franco-German Partnership?

Charlemagne has a proposal:

Merging first names to make Frangela is too familiar for leaders who barely know each other. Homer is too American (or worse, Greek). Merkollande sounds too close to Merkozy. That leaves just the shortened Merde, which at least sums up the state of the euro.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

10 thoughts on “What Shall We Call the New Franco-German Partnership?”

  1. What is the pronunciation of “Charlemange”? Does the 2nd syllable sound like the French imperative for eat? Or does it sound like an English word for a class of skin diseases caused by parasitic mite? Both also seem like appropriate descriptions of the Euro, although in either case “Karlmange” would be more accurate.

  2. May be worth pointing out that “good relations” only denotes the comfort zone of diplomats, not a real priority of policy. Bad relations between Hollande and Merkel over a substantive disagreement over what to do represents an improvement over the entente between Merkel and Sarkozy behind a bad policy.

      1. Actually, the strength of the Pirate Party may be Angela Merkel’s best shot at retaining power.

        Right now, it’s very unlikely that the CDU/CSU/FDP will have a majority in 2013 unless the FDP manages to stage a miracle comeback.

        However, the likelihood of a left-of-center majority (SPD/Greens) is also doubtful.

        The reason for this impasse is that currently the Pirate Party is attracting enough votes (largely protest votes) to spoil it for both sides (to a lesser degree this applies to the Left Party also). The general problem for the German left is that while there’s a fairly solid center-left majority among voters at the federal level, a huge chunk of the left-of-center vote is eaten up by these two parties.

        The most likely outcome with such a hung parliament would be a so-called “grand coalition” between the CDU/CSU and the SPD, with the stronger party (most likely the CDU/CSU [1]) being the one who gets to pick the chancellor. That means Angela Merkel for another four years (though this time she’d have to deal with an equally strong coalition partner, not the lame duck FDP).

        [1] Technically, the CDU and CSU are two different parties, the CDU covering all of Germany except Bavaria, and the CSU Bavaria only, but for electoral and parliamentary purposes they’re essentially treated the same as a single party.

        1. A Grand Coalition would work, if Merkel got the spiritual ministries, and the SPD got the temporal ministries. In observing politics lo these many years, I’ve never seen a senior politician as smart as Angela Merkel being so stupidly moralistic.

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