Opinionomics | 30 April 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. Examinations of the problems with austerity, youth unemployment, and

1. German Unions Seeking Higher Pay Could Save the Euro (Bloomberg View)

Simon Johnson points out that the intra-Europe rebalancing that many agree must occur for normality to resume could be greatly aided by unions – normally the scourge of neoclassical economic models.

2. Wasting Our Minds (New York Times)

Paul Krugman writes on the terrible wasted potential that results from things liek high youth unemployment.

3. The impact of fiscal austerity in the eurozone (Financial Times)

Martin Wolf repeats Krugman's examination from last week, and reaches the same conclusion: austerity is negatively correlated with growth.

4. Recovery ahoy? (Market Square)

Ian Mulheirn gives his two pence on the double-dip.

5. The facts aren't going the Coalition's way, so it has resorted to spin (Independent)

David Blanchflower assesses the coalition's job creation claims.

Danny Alexander leaves Downing Street. David Blanchflower wishes he would never come back. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.