Which came as startling news to 350 million Europeans!
Hollande made his declaration during a visit to Japan. Assured by his top advisers that the Japanese did not have access to the internet, and that no one in Japan could read the English/French/German newspapers, he went out on a limb thinking he might be able to slip this whopper past his hosts.
This is but the latest example of the French President's inner circle giving him a bum steer. It was the court philosopher BHL who convinced the naive waif Hollande that invading Mali would be a good move.
Hollande fully believed he would "earn his spurs," as the persuasive Levy so seductively put it.
Not only did he fail to win any spurs, now he cannot figure out how to get out of Mali!
Nor does he have any clue how to turn around an economy that continues to shed jobs and accumulate debt. He remains totally befuddled about how to escape Merkel's austerity enema when in reality it would take merely two words; nein danke.
But it might do him good to visit a sovereign nation that doesn't do austerity and doesn't take orders from Merkel. If such independence is possible for Japan, perhaps it is possible for France too.