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France and the EU Constitution...


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#61    wunarmdscissor

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:39 PM

it isnt a big mess and blackleaf is being just a tad one sided.

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#62    Mr Ed

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:41 PM

blackleaf, this constant barrage of stories on Europe is getting annoying.

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#63    wunarmdscissor

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:44 PM

i agree.

personally i think the EU is a great idea, i dont personally beleiev wholly in the constitution however as someone said , if your not in it then you cant work it.

you see we WILL be left behind .

and if france is doing so badly, as you so gladly inform us and they are as utterly clueless as you portray, then why are you so happy to willingly follow them with a 'non'. should we say 'oui'?

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#64    zandore

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:48 PM

What part of the word "NO" can't they understand?

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#65    Tommy

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:44 PM

QUOTE(Mr Ed @ Jun 1 2005, 06:41 PM)
blackleaf, this constant barrage of stories on Europe is getting annoying.

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Yes, it is getting extremely tiring reading all these threads, which all say the same thing.  I’m merging all these ‘French and the EU’ threads together.  There is no point having over a dozen of them floating around, each for a related article posted.

Edited by Tommy, 01 June 2005 - 07:51 PM.

"Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history of man in miracles and lies" ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

#66    Ohelemapit

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:57 PM


Thank god for that.. I am not a lover of the French but I was beginning to see them on every discussion.

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#67    warden

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 08:27 PM

Remember if Blackleaf has strong opinions and views on Europe and particilary France that is his right,isnt it up to yous to persued him of your points of view and hopefully sway him into the middle or onto your side wacko.gif


#68    Tommy

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:29 PM

By all means I wish to encourage debating and discussion on these issues, but all these stories are very similar in content and are better suited in one thread rather than clogging up the whole current affairs forum.  thumbsup.gif  

QUOTE
isnt it up to yous to persued him of your points of view and hopefully sway him into the middle or onto your side


Some people no matter how persuasively you argue will not change their opinions.  I know I sometimes find it hard to accept certain arguments, but politics is all about these differences of opinion.  Who can truly say who is wrong and who is right on such matters?  The best you can do is to justify your arguments as best you can and try to determine how rational they are.  IMO


"Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history of man in miracles and lies" ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

#69    Erikl

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:49 PM

The EU is really hard to accomplish for several reasons:

A. Culturally there isn't such a thing as Europe. The only thing which unites all of Europe is Christianity. Yet many Europeans are atheists, or simply find religion unimportant or down right racist way to define identity.

B. One could point out that Europeans have managed to be united in the US into one nation - but one has to remember that what really happened was that 13 British colonies that took over the entire current US territory became target location for mass immigration - meaning that it's not much different than say from suddenly most of European immigrating into France.

C. the EU today could never survive the real world because it is protected by the US and NATO. So the current standard of living in the EU should not be confused with how EU citizens will live after they'll break out of the US umbrella (and that's bound to happen sometimes).

D. As opposed to Western Europe which is fed up of nationalism (the EU is a western european project after all), Eastern Europe just recived freedom and independence from the Soviet Union and so is pretty nationalistic.

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#70    Tommy

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 10:00 PM

I think D in particular demonstrates the different speeds and direction Europe is traveling. This EU Constitution is trying to standardize Europe to a greater degree, but looking at these referendums Europe clearly does not want this.

"Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history of man in miracles and lies" ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

#71    Mekorig

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 02:18 AM

But the integration path has begun...in one way or another, Europe will become a power block, like it the USA or some poor nationalsocialistic like Blackleaf or not. tongue.gif

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I don't think any of these "The Vague Society of Nebulous Meanies are going to take over the world and light up a planet" theories worry too much about practical considerations like that. It's all about rousing ill-informed, paranoiac fear, not making sense.

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#72    warden

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 01:19 PM

QUOTE(Mekorig @ Jun 2 2005, 02:18 AM)
But the integration path has begun...in one way or another, Europe will become a power block, like it the USA or some poor nationalsocialistic like Blackleaf or not. tongue.gif

View Post



You cant stand his posts but you still cant keep him out of petty comments,i think blackleaf has succeeded in what he was trying to do


#73    Mekorig

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 08:59 PM

neee....its just that Blackleaf make me laught...its soo alike to some nationalistic rednecks we have in argentina.  "insert country name" is great, the rest of the world, especially "insert country name" is "insert despevtive comment" .

I´m an evil pinko UN slave liberal commie

I don't think any of these "The Vague Society of Nebulous Meanies are going to take over the world and light up a planet" theories worry too much about practical considerations like that. It's all about rousing ill-informed, paranoiac fear, not making sense.

--Jaylemurph


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#74    blablaz

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:30 AM

hi im french and I said yes, but some dumb frenchs said no because they thought the question was "are you happy with the money you get? do you like chirac?"... we should have done like other countries: parlement referendum... btw we are not at all anti euro, we love euro (at least me) I love the eurogirls

Edited by blablaz, 06 June 2005 - 11:36 AM.


#75    Blackleaf

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 09:32 AM

International Focus - 6/9/05

Requesting a French plumber to turn up on time is like asking an Italian to eat spaghetti with chopsticks – you’ll get the same look of bewildered confusion. Never mind the ever-flushing toilet or the leaking pipes, you will have to wait at home for days until the plumber deigns to answer your pleas for immediate assistance. Pressure him, and he will accuse you of trying to impose “your Anglo-Saxon values.”



The French worker suffers from a reluctance to perform hard work, combined with a conviction that French “civilization” is superior to any other. This was clearly reflected in the decisive rejection of the proposed new constitution for Europe. In spite of an energetic government propaganda campaign and personal pleas from President Chirac, the French were unwilling to go along with increased centralization of Europe and the implied weakening of French independence and culture.



One of the great fears raised by opposition to the new constitution was the specter of the “Polish Plumber” who would arrive on time, work better than a French plumber, and charge half the price. With the enlargement of the European Union to cover many former Soviet bloc countries has come an influx of cheap labor into France and other rich Western European countries. The French are most unhappy about it. And, looking at their high unemployment rate (over 10.2 per cent), who can blame them for being worried about their future?



But they only have themselves to blame. Strong unions have forced through legislation reducing the official work week to 35 hours and they are entitled to a legal minimum of five weeks paid vacation in addition to 11 public holidays. On average, a French worker works 339 hours less per year than an American worker. On average, they retire before the age of 60 with a pension that can be as high as two thirds of their final salary. It is no wonder that other Europeans are now able to produce goods and services far cheaper than can the French and that French factories are closing in the face of competition from imports.

Consider the case of my barber. For the seven years that I lived in France, each time he cut my hair he complained that it was unfair that he could not retire until 57. “I started work at 17 whereas others have only worked from the age of 21 or 22. Why should I have to work 40 years?” His lack of enthusiasm for working is reflected in a book Bonjour paresse (Hello Laziness), subtitled About the art and the necessity of doing the strict minimum for your company.

The French are not inherently lazy, but have been made so by heavy doses of socialism and punitive tax rates. Tax rates are so high on earned income and welfare benefits are also high. When workers look at their net pay check and compare that with what they can make by doing nothing, the cost of not working is low. But who will pay for these welfare benefits in the future?



France is aging rapidly and every year there will be fewer in the active working population supporting an ever increasing percentage of retired. By 2030 the population aged 65 and over will rise to 39.1 per cent. Adding the population aged 0-14, 68 per cent of the population will be supported by the remaining 32 per cent.



Already France is one of the more heavily taxed countries and employers are extremely reluctant to create new jobs because of the high social taxes the have to pay (80-90 per cent in addition to the employee’s salary) and the difficulty of downsizing in the event of a downturn. If you think that our own social security system may have problems in 20 to 30 years, just image the French problem that is not nearly so far away.



A number of French unions have blamed the eastern expansion of the EU for job losses, believing French workers are losing out to the low wage economies of the new EU member states, such as Poland and the Czech Republic. But the French unions themselves have contributed to the mess. Public sector workers such as firemen, police, teachers and doctors regularly go out on strike. And strikers not only strike against their own employers but often undertake industrial action “in sympathy” with other strikers. Just imagine the reaction in this country if truckers were to bring the highway system to a complete stop by blocking Interstate entrance and exit ramps, with the police standing by doing nothing.

The results of the referendum on the Constitution show that most French resent domination by Brussels, and now they have put a spanner in the works of the European Union. I hope that they are prepared to live with the consequences. VT



— Peter Leslie is a former CFO of the United Nations Development Program, now living in Vail. His comments on UN issues are on the web site of the Foreign Policy Association and his column appears periodically in The Vail Trail.

www.vailtrail.com . . .

  







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