EUROPE: France Shakes the Foundations

In Washington, some U.S. foreign policy experts—at least in private—called it a cheap grandstand play without any substance. British diplomats spoke darkly about "bankruptcy and isolation. " From Brussels, there were discreet mutterings by Eurocrats about "another blow to the concept of unity." In Paris, the conservative, pro-government daily Le Figaro warned that the Common Market was on the brink of a "European Waterloo. " The cause of the comments was France's decision, forcefully defended at the Washington Energy Conference by Foreign Minister Michel Jobert (TIME, Feb. 25), to seek its...