Europe: Slow-Motion Diplomacy

Nobody hurried. Aboard his blue overnight train from Bonn, Ludwig Erhard snoozed for two hours on a siding along the Mosel so as not to get to Paris too soon. When he finally arrived at the Elysee Palace, Charles de Gaulle kept him waiting another 28 minutes.

Then the French President strolled out to greet the West German leader with a smile, a handshake —and a glottal "Bis Aufgleich Herr Bundeskanzler [See you later, Mr. Chancellor]." With that they adjourned, to meet again an hour later for a leisurely lunch.

The slow-motion diplomacy...

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