As Government ministers in Spain try desperately to combat the pessimism about their country’s economic future, they will no doubt be none too pleased that President Sarkozy of France has today highlighted the Spanish economic crisis as a failure to be avoided.
Sarkozy, who faces the first round of the French Presidential elections in just two weeks, used live television broadcast to attack his political rival, the Socialist Francois Hollande. Sarkozy claimed Hollande would drive France to an economic situation “worthy of Spain, or above all Greece”.
The denigration of the Spanish economy at a time when Government ministers are desperately trying to hold back the tide of market jitters will have not been appreciated in Madrid. Sarkozy will argue his attack was directed at the socialist model, although his timing will not be viewed as helpful by his fellow conservative and ally Mariano Rajoy.