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Inside out

Our fortnightly digest of facts and rumours from Brussels and beyond.

Desperate times

To mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty of friendship between France and Germany on 22 January 1963, the two countries have planned several commemorative events to highlight “the strength and history of the Franco-German relationship”. But this attempt to demonstrate solidarity during the “Franco-German year” appears to have arrived at an unfortunate time, as a growing rift separates the two nations on a range of issues from the EU budget to the need for austerity. A more accurate designation might be that conferred by the German press—which has already christened 2013 the “Krisenjahr”—or crisis year.

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