France, Egypt and the Union for the Mediterranean

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I never really understood at the time why so many observers ridiculed French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his efforts to launch the Union for the Mediterranean. Clearly, it was an ambitious project. If the global economic crisis hadn’t finished it off, the complicated politics of the region probably would have. But in light of the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, where the uprisings have been driven as much by frustrated economic aspirations as by repressed political aspirations, it’s hard not to see Sarkozy’s emphasis on economic development of the southern Mediterranean — as a pre-emptive effort to prevent inflows […]

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