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But EVERYONE else was pushing the other way. Yes, France has a bigger hitting power than was often suggested, but this would have been single-handedly obtaining something with essentially no pro quo. It is far from certain that it would have been an unqualified success.
To say that France has by some distance the hypocrisy prize because it did not resist strongly enough when nobody gave indication on joining them should they push harder seems somewhat excessive.
Because that means being much, much more hypocritical than a country whose business model is based on supplier credit but treats debt as a sin, while having been the biggest debt reneger of the 20th Century to boot; that repeats pacta sunt servanda despite having taken the lead in violating them when it suited them, including a default event in 1993 when it refused to apply the clauses that were postponed until reunification in its debt restructure; that insists that the ECB fights inflation despite failing to hit its inflation target on the low side for years; that demands that everyone be a net exporter; that keeps lecturing the whole world that cutting public spending is the way to growth despite this being proven wrong (and not making any sense in the first place); that does its best to impose that even if a country does implement the crazy budgetary adjustments in the (misguided) treaties they rammed through, it be done only in the way they like, aka reducing public spending, even though nothing in the treaty says anything about it.
That takes some doing.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
But EVERYONE else was pushing the other way.
Looking from a smaller member state, and one without euro, I would say that for the Swedish political elite (red or blue) the EU have three major benefits:
Had the policy been different in the EU, the previous governments actions would have reflected that. Or at least that is my take on it.
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