Alistair Darling has delivered a blunt warning to the EU’s new French finance chief against meddling with the City of London. As Nicolas Sarkozy gloated over impending curbs on the City, the Chancellor said that such moves would drive financial services out of Europe.
The French President’s glee at the appointment of Michel Barnier as Commissioner for the Single Market took on an edge of menace yesterday when he said that unfettered City practices must end. “Do you know what it means for me to see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]?" he said yesterday. "I want the world to see the victory of the European model, which has nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism, (and I don't think that most of us would disagree with that!)" he said.
His implicit threat was just what Downing Street had feared when Mr Barnier, formerly an agriculture minister, was given the portfolio last week.
NOW THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT IS BEGINNING TO REALISE WHAT THE TREATY OF ROME IS ALL ABOUT!