The Slogger’s few remaining French sources insist that President Sarkozy is privately very critical of ‘German intransigence’ about EU sovereign bailouts.

Nudge any thinking Frenchman to the left of Jean-Marie Le Pen, and he will tell you that Le Figaro pretty well prints what the UMP wants out there. The governing UMP Party has its own President in the Elysee, and of late Le Fig has been printing stuff that is slightly off-message from the usual kissy-kissy luvvy-luvvy stuff that passes for Franco-German relations.

Earlier this week, President Sarkozy himself said that “if we can’t help out member States, what is the point of the Euro?” For Sarko this was a rhetorical question: but for an increasing number of Europeans at all levels, it isn’t. I am told that it has just begun to dawn on Sarko how German the Germans still are.

The more scurrilous gossips suggest that Sarkozy’s eye was taken off the ball by Presidential distraction in the form of new bedroom gymnastics instructors (the First Lady is also rumoured to be putting it about a bit). But the most likely explanation is that Sarko is realising just how hard it is to be a good European when one’s own constituents think chiefly of fidelite a la France.

The Franco-German border represents the nearest thing there is to a physical fault-line between thrifty north European squirrels and devil-may-care Southern grasshoppers. So perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised that (if the gossips are to be believed) the French President has been privately mouthing off about the Germans being sanctimonious on the subject of fiscal probity. As they very clearly are doing this, the Sarko psyche will be unhappy – especially as France itself seems to be consistently incapable of staying within Eurozone fiscal guidelines.

Thus the Francophile European central bank boss Jean-Claude Trichet is now making warm noises about a special EU version of the IMF….but the Germans are distinctly frigid about the idea.

Without doubt, Teutonic disdain for sloppy accounting is in play here. But on another plane, there is also the German fear of its own Constitutional rules being trampled underfoot by the pieds-noirs of Europe.

Anyway, NicoSarko has spotted it, and is displeased by what he sees as a national reversion to type. Stay tuned for more bulletins en directe de France.