On either side of the Channel, the gloves are off. An indignant Pierre Moscovici, the French finance minister, denied yesterday that France was the “sick man of Europe” as he pointed in triumph to the latest French GDP figure. The rise of 0.2 per cent in the third quarter is no splendid soufflé, but it’s better than expectations of decline. It makes a nice squib to lob at Anglo-Saxon critics. More importantly, signs of economic life in France are a little eclair to offer Angela Merkel in Berlin, who is worried about the euro zone’s economic direction. Anglo-French rivalry is an amusing spectacle but what really matters is whether Germany has the patience to wait for the euro zone recovery.