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France and the EU Constitution...


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#31    Mr Ed

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:39 AM

It won't be the end of the EU, but it marks rough times ahead.

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#32    Blackleaf

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:40 AM

A massive 57% of French voted against the EU Constitution, slightly more than expected.

From The Sun -


By GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON
Deputy Political Editor, in London and MICHAEL LEA in Paris

THE French last night killed off the hated EU Constitution by giving a giant two-fingered salute to a United States of Europe.

They rejected the treaty in a clear victory for democracy that is certain to spread through Europe.

A staggering 57 per cent said “Non” to the EU blueprint in the referendum, according to the French Interior Ministry.

Even before polls closed in Paris, French President Jacques Chirac admitted defeat.

And he lamely urged other EU states like Britain to carry on with the treaty as if nothing had happened.

He told his people: “You have rejected the European Constitution by a majority. It is your sovereign decision.”

The emphatic rejection by the French — about 70 per cent of people voted — may kill off chances of a referendum on the issue in Britain.

It will almost certainly be trumped by an even bigger No — or “Nee” — in Holland on Wednesday.

Within minutes of the stunning defeat, French political leaders began calling for Mr Chirac’s head.

Anti-constitution supporters poured on to the streets throughout France and began riotous celebrations.



Non starter ... no vote
Picture: REUTERS



Reactions to the result were mixed, but all admitted it was a serious blow for the EU.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it “raises profound questions about the future direction of Europe”.

He added: “Personally, I’m very sad about it. But in democracies you have to respond to the result. A no vote will create a problem for Europe.”

EU Trade Commissioner and ex-minister Peter Mandelson said: “One country, even France, does not have a veto, but this vote cannot be ignored.

“I hope, though, that the rest of Europe votes yes to a constitutional treaty that will make the EU more effective and democratic at home and stronger in the world.”

Ex-EU minister Denis Macshane said there was no chance of a UK referendum.

He added: “This was a treaty too far.”



Blow ... Chirac



Shadow Foreign Secretary Liam Fox said: “If our Government try to breathe life into this corpse, then we need to have the British people having a say.”

Delighted Matthew McGregor, of Britain’s No campaign, said: “Now it’s up to Europe’s politicians to listen and learn. When Ireland and Denmark voted no they were forced to vote again — that mustn’t happen again. Europe’s leaders must take no for an answer.”

But EU leaders vowed to push ahead with efforts to get the treaty approved despite the French shock.

Nine member states have ratified the Constitution but only one after a referendum.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said: “I am not a doctor, but the treaty is not dead. It is a European debate. The ratification process will continue.”

And European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said France’s rejection of Europe’s Constitution did not kill the treaty.

He said: “Of course it is a serious problem, but we cannot say the treaty is dead.

“We are convinced we will be able to meet the challenge. When faced with difficulties, it is where we expect our politicians to show determination and vision to rally together for Europe.”



Hols ... Blair



Tony Blair, who is on holiday in Italy, will face the task of dealing with the fallout from the French vote when Britain takes over the EU presidency on July 1.

Before that, EU leaders will hold emergency talks on the treaty during a summit in Brussels.

Government insiders predict that a decision on the Constitution’s future will be made during Britain’s presidency in the autumn.

They admit there is no obvious way to save the Constitution in its current form now that it has been knifed in France.

Brussels chiefs fear the entire EU project will now be thrown into chaos.







#33    zephyr

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE
“We have shown that we will not be forced into a Europe we don’t want.”

The problem is that the Europe that the French want might not be the Europe other Europeans want, unless of course the French think they can force the Europe they want onto other Europeans! blink.gif
In any case, thanks to the French; bye bye Europe as a potential superpower-like entity. The less superpowers there are around, the better it is for the weak anyway, especially since history has shown that empires and superpowers tend to be aggressive toward the weaker nations that might not agree to be one of their satellites.


#34    Babs

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 02:06 PM

rofl.gif ..dancin' in the streets. Wasn't that somethin'? w00t.gif

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation"

Henry David Thoreau...

#35    Blackleaf

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 05:24 PM

user posted image

From The Guardian.


#36    Blackleaf

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 05:30 PM

The Sun Says -

Non, non, non  

IN the end it didn’t matter what slippery Jacques Chirac said or did.

The French simply decided the proposed European Constitution was not for them, merci.

President Chirac had tried bribery — including tax cuts and pay rises.

He even took off his European hat to urge a selfish Yes vote “for the future of France.”

It was all to no avail. The people of France rejected the constitution for their own good reasons.

Just as the Dutch will reject it for theirs on Wednesday.

And just as we will reject it here — if we get the chance.

Across Europe the tide has turned against the idea of a superstate.

But we should not imagine that a No vote means an end to the ambitions of the federalists.

Last night Europe’s leaders were insisting that ratification should continue in every country.

Some were saying that if enough countries say Yes, the French could be asked to vote again.

That makes it doubly important that our own referendum — promised by Tony Blair — returns such a resounding No that no one can possibly argue with it.

Today the European Constitution is cooling in its coffin.

But while Brussels bureaucrats are drawing breath the lid can never be quite nailed down.  

thesun.co.uk


#37    Tommy

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 05:54 PM

Considering the main French parties were in favour of the Constitution I think this no vote has got to shake them up a bit.  Especially when the Netherlands vote against it too on June 1st, where does the EU go from here?

I think instead on focusing it’s energies on politically integrating further, it should be looking at making itself more efficient in terms of what it is now.  We’ve only recently had these Eastern countries join; lets give them a chance to prosper and time to adjust, and see where the natural course for the EU is going.  I don’t see why certain countries are so keen to push on with this Constitution when it’s a step Europe doesn’t need to take right now.

Personally I find the BBC article on it less biased than the Sun.


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#38    Blackleaf

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 06:25 PM

user posted image

I think the EU will become more like the EU that the British wanted when Britain joined the EU in 1973, rather than the EU that the French and the Germans want.

Rather than a superstate, a United States of Europe which would mean countries surrendering their sovereignties, the EU will become a loosely-connected organisation of states that remain independent and all will have free-market economies.  If the French and Germans don't like it, then they can unite their own two nations together.  Meanwhile, Britain will leade the New Europe, consisiting mainly of Britain, the Scandinavian countries and the Eastern European nations.


#39    Mekorig

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:49 PM

Blackleaf, again, why soo much bullly patritism against frence and germany? You put UK like a paradise, and i know that the economy of that country isnt a paradise compared to the rest of the continent.

I´m an evil pinko UN slave liberal commie

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#40    Blackleaf

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:19 AM

From The Telegraph -

Europe is an indulgence we can't afford
By Mark Steyn


The Eurofetishists can't seem to agree their line on this referendum business. On the one hand, the Guardian's headline writer was packing up and heading for the hills - "Europe is plunged into crisis" - and EU leaders warned that "Europe" might cease to function.

Oh, come on. We won't get that lucky.

On balance, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "president" of "Europe", seems closer to the mark in his now famous dismissal of the will of the people: "If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go', and if it's a No we will say 'we continue'."

And if it's a Neither of the Above, he will say "we move forward". You get the idea. Confronted by the voice of the people, "President" Juncker covers his ears and says: "Nya, nya, nya, can't hear you!" There are several lessons worth learning from the French vote. The first is that the Junckers are a big part of the problem.

Only in totalitarian dictatorships does the ballot come with a pre-ordained correct answer. Yet President Juncker distilled the great flaw at the heart of the EU constitution into one straightforward sentence that cut through all the thickets of Giscard's unreadable verbiage. The American constitution begins with the words "We the people". The starting point for the EU constitution is: "We know better than the people."

After that, the rest doesn't matter: you can't do trickle-down nation-building. The British, who've written more constitutions for more real nations than anybody in history and therefore can't plead the same ignorance as President Juncker, should be especially ashamed of going along with this farrago of a travesty of a charade.

Ah, say the Eurofetishists, but you naysayers are gloating undeservedly: the French didn't suddenly see the light and decide British Eurosceptics had been right all along; they rejected the EU constitution because they thought it was an Anglo-Saxon racket to impose capitalism on their pampered protectionist utopia.

But so what? Britain's naysayers don't have to reject the constitution for the same reason as France's commies, fascists, racists, eco-nutters, anachronistic unionists, featherbedded farmers, middle-aged "students", Trot professors and welfare queens, bless 'em all. If they want to go down the Eurinal of history clinging to their unaffordable welfare state, their 30-hour work weeks, 10-month work years and seven-year work decades, that's up to them. If Britain doesn't, that should be up to Britain.

For decades, some of us have argued that "Europe" is too diverse to form a single polity, that the British and French are in fact foreign to each other. Sir Edward Heath and his ilk scoff at such crude language: why, today's young cosmopolitan Britons are perfectly comfortable drinking Beaujolais and eating croissants and flaunting their wedding tackle on the Côte d'Azur. True, and irrelevant. What Sunday's vote underlined is profound differences in political culture. Britain's anti-Europeans and France's lunatic fringe are united only in their reluctance to be bossed around by a regulatory regime that insists a one-size-fits-all rulebook can be applied from Ballymena to the Baltics. It can't. The alleged incompatibility of our dissatisfactions makes the point: all politics is local; despite the assiduous promotion of the term, electorally speaking there is no such thing as a "European".

Incidentally, that "lunatic fringe" in France now accounts for about 60 per cent of the electorate. That's another lesson for the decayed Euro-elite. One of the most unattractive features of European politics is the way it insists certain subjects are out of bounds, and beyond politics. That's the most obvious flaw in Giscard's flaccid treaty: it's not a constitution, it's a perfectly fine party platform for a rather stodgy semi-obsolescent social democratic party. Its constitutional "rights" - the right to housing assistance, the right to preventive action on the environment - are not constitutional at all, but the sort of things parties ought to be arguing about at election time.

Instead, Europe's "consensus" politics has ruled more and more topics unfit for discussion, leaving voters with a choice between Eurodee and Eurodum, a left-of-right-of-left-of-centre party and a right-of-left-of-right-of-left-of-centre party. None of these plodding technocratic parties seems eager to talk about any of the faintly unrespectable subjects on the minds of voters - Muslim immigration, increasing crime, Turkey, EU labour mobility. So voters, naturally, are turning elsewhere, and in five years' time the entire Continent could end up with the same flight from the centre as we've seen in Ulster.

As to whether Turkey is European, evidently it was a century and a half ago when Tsar Nicholas I described it as "the sick man of Europe". Today the sick man of Europe is the European, the gilded princeling like Chirac or Juncker, gliding from one Eutopian planning session to the next, oblivious to the dreary parochial concerns of the people. In The Sunday Telegraph, Douglas Hurd, typically, missed the point in his analysis of the French vote, arguing that Europe needed "new leaders". Our colleagues headlined it, "Two men and a woman who can save Europe". No, no, no. Europe doesn't have a lack of leaders, it has a lack of followers.

I mentioned to a theatre chum the other day that the EU reminded me of Garth Drabinsky's Livent company. They were the big theatre producers in the Nineties: they revived Show Boat and produced Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime and Sweet Smell of Success in Toronto and on Broadway and brought most of them to the West End. And they were all critically admired, yet didn't seem to make any money. But Livent took the view that somehow if you produced a big enough range of flops they would add up to one smash hit.

They're gone now. But their spirit lives on in the EU, critically admired (at least by the Guardian and Le Monde) but not making any money, and clinging to the theory that if you merge enough weak economies they add up to one global superpower. The big story of the past three decades is that the more it's mired itself in the creation of a centralised pseudo-state, the more "Europe" has fallen behind America in every important long-term indicator, from economic growth to demographics. "Europe" is an indulgence the real Europe can't afford. The followers recognise that, even if the leaders don't.


www.telegraph.co.uk . . .

  




#41    Blackleaf

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 08:51 AM

From The Sun -

PM challenges the French

FRANCE and the rest of Europe were last night urged to copy Britain’s booming economic blueprint.


Tony Blair said the “no” vote in the French referendum on the EU Constitution was the perfect chance for struggling states to modernise.

Crucially, the PM refused to say that the show must go on, and declared it was now “time for reflection” — code for killing off the doomed treaty.

But he claimed the EU should turn the crisis into an opportunity for countries to equip themselves to take on the tiger economies of China and India.

In a break from his Italian holiday hideaway, he said: “What emerges so strongly from the French referendum campaign is this deep, profound underlying anxiety that people in Europe have about how the economy of Europe faces up to the challenges of the modern world.

“There is another debate going on in Europe to do with jobs, economic security, public services and welfare reform in an era of globalisation, illegal immigration and organised crime.”

Mr Blair, who will have a crucial European role when Britain takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency in July, added: “How do we give our citizens proper protection, proper welfare and public services and at the same time remain strong and competitive and prosperous in this modern world?

“Now that, in my view, is the question that we need to debate in Europe alongside whatever decisions are made about Europe.

“It is a question of having this time for reflection, which is sensible, because of the French vote and, indeed, the size of the French vote.”





Mr Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown want European countries to ditch costly employment laws which make it too difficult for bosses to hire and fire.

Taxes must be slashed to encourage investment and hugely expensive dole handouts must be curbed.


www.thesun.co.uk



#42    wunarmdscissor

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:00 AM

i detect just a slight hint of a euro sceptic in you blackleaf.
lol

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#43    Mr Ed

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:06 AM

'French PM resigns after EU vote

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has resigned following defeat in Sunday's referendum on the European Union draft constitution.
President Jacques Chirac is expected to name a replacement for Mr Raffarin later in the day.

Mr Chirac promised a government reshuffle after the vote, in which almost 55% voted "No".

Correspondents say the result reflects domestic discontent as well as wider anxiety about the European project.'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4595423.stm



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#44    warden

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:30 PM

Change of direction ,but i have noticed all the time i have been a UM member i have never spoke or seen a French person on this Site

Any French memberes ?if so would be good to hear their side of the coin thumbsup.gif


#45    warden

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE(wunarmdscissor @ May 31 2005, 10:00 AM)
i detect just a slight hint of a euro sceptic in you blackleaf.
lol

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And in many peoples voices all over Europe tongue.gif





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