August 30, 2003
Eleven years after France signed the Maastricht Treaty it has decided it has had enough of its obligations. The straitjacket of the stability pact, which paved the way for the euro, is bound too tight for an economic downturn, it has told Brussels.
So instead of suffering for the common European good, President Chirac has decided to bust out, to let his deficits soar and try to spend his way to an economic recovery.
It is hard to know what lesson Sweden is to draw from this as it prepares to vote on Sept 14 on whether to start using the euro. Is every country that uses the single currency allowed to behave like this?
Of course not. Only those indispensable nations at the center of the