Europe is a multifaceted personal journey for many of us, but there was always something quasi-sacred about Franco-German reconciliation. I’m recalling this to try to convey what a shock it was that the “Alsace-Lorraine selloff” conspiracy theory lodged itself so successfully into so many minds. Nor was it reassuring that the French government was caught off-guard by this paranoid rumour. To see an age-old territorial obsession we thought long buried suddenly re-emerge says something about how vulnerable some cornerstones of the EU project have become.
Natalie Nougayrède