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Il en est de la solidité des machines-outils «made in Germany» comme de la popularité d'Angela ­Merkel.

Does en in this context have anything to do with en in this context? Or does it mean something else altogether?

Also, I can see that en in this context plays a certain role in the comparison between the solidity of the machines-outils and the popularity of the German Kanzlerin, but don't know what that is.

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Reading the context, I realize it can be a bit more general than “is at stake“ in fact. It's some kind of impersonal “it pertains to …”, “it concerns …”. Difficult to translate, it is this kind of situational en. –  Stéphane Gimenez Jul 31 '13 at 13:08

1 Answer 1

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Il en est ... comme de ... is actually a comparison. This means, depending of the context, these two things are doing as well as each other or these two things are working the same way.

In this article,

Il en est de la solidité des machines-outils «made in Germany» comme de la popularité d'Angela ­Merkel. Le temps ne les use pas.

could be rewritten this way:

La solidité des machines-outils «made in Germany» et la popularité d'Angela ­Merkel sont comparables : le temps ne les use pas.

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