The French President, Francois Hollande, fresh from inauguration, was on his way for a first meeting with his German counterpart, the Chancellor Angela Merkel, when the plane he was flying in was reportedly struck by lightning.

As a result he had to turn back to Paris.

You just could not make this up. Mr Hollande has just won the presidency on the back of promising to re-write the European Union’s (Merkozy) ‘fiskalpact’ more along the lines of tax and spend and on the way to what is seen as his first battle his plane is hit by a lightning bolt.

Aeroplanes are regularly being hit by lightning with no ill effects, so why this one had to return to base where the French President boarded another flight is unclear.

But, before the conspiracy theories start to flow, he was only delayed by about 90 minutes or so.

They still managed a press conference in Berlin at 20:20 UK time where Mrs Merkel opened by saying that maybe the lightning strike was a good sign of things to come.

She then cut directly to the European agenda saying that they were aware of their responsibilities and were confident of together finding solutions to the problems they face. She also said that they were trying to help Greece and would be there to help them.

Francois Hollande said that he realised the responsibility towards European integration. He also said that it was important that Greece remained in the Eurozone so it was important for everyone to stick to their obligations to find solutions. And he hoped he said that Greece would use the new upcoming round of national elections to help find the way forward.

So it seems that Greece is to stay in the Eurozone then. Wonder how they’ll achieve that with austerity while taxing and spending with the Greeks deciding to do their own thing?

Maybe the lightning strike was a portent of things to come.


Image by original data: Sebastien D'ARCO, animate: Koba-chan [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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