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French and Italian press attack Chirac.


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France under Chirac has been a disaster. He's alienated the US, the UK, Japanese, Eastern Europeans. Now the Dutch and Swedes. The Italians are no fans of him. A new likely successor to Shroeder, Angela Merkel is no fan of Chirac, even tabling a German parliamentary motion to support Britain on it's rebate and CAP restructuring.

Chirac is the sick man of Europe, say French

By Colin Randall in Paris

(Filed: 17/06/2005)

Weakened and more unpopular than any French head of state in half a century, President Jacques Chirac was yesterday branded "the sick man of Europe" in his own country.

Before leaving Paris for the European Union summit in Brussels, Mr Chirac suffered the ignominy of seeing his enfeebled state highlighted in the press.

Opinion polls since the May 29 No vote on the EU constitution put his approval rating lower than any president since Gen Charles de Gaulle ushered in France's Fifth Republic in 1958.

Even his allies seem to be turning against him. A senior figure in the ruling centre-Right was quoted as speaking ruefully of "an old gentleman who does not really understand what is happening to him".

He told the newspaper Libération: "He says nothing, he listens to conversation without hearing. I have never seen him like this."

Under the headline "Chirac, sick man of Europe", Libération called Mr Chirac a "serial loser" and claimed that other EU leaders would be relieved to see him stand down.

If the Left-wing paper is no champion of the beleaguered president, its sentiments were broadly echoed in less hostile quarters. The word "weakened" featured prominently in most reports previewing the Brussels meeting.

Mr Chirac is said to regard European and world issues as offering his best hope of clawing himself back into political respectability.

But obstacles appear even on the international landscape. Tony Blair is widely seen by French observers to be exploiting Mr Chirac's difficulties to promote his vision of Europe.

As host of the forthcoming G8 summit at Gleneagles, Mr Blair has even seized the initiative on Third World poverty, one of Mr Chirac's recent pet subjects.

Elysée officials said no one could have expected anything other than a slump in opinion poll ratings after the scale of the referendum defeat, adding that Mr Chirac was "pre-occupied but certainly not downhearted". Most of France appears to think differently.


Italian press slams 'lame duck' Chirac


ROME, June 17 (AFP) - Italian newspapers Friday laid into France's President Jacques Chirac, labelling him an obstacle to the course of the European Union and calling on Italy to swing over to Britain's vision of the future of the bloc.

The economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore, in a hard-hitting front-page editorial, called the French leader "the enemy of the EU," while Confindustria, organ of the Italian employers' federation, said Chirac should take the first step to get Europe out of its current deadlock, by resigning and vanishing from the political stage.

The left-wing La Repubblica said Chirac, who has failed to bounce back since French voters shocked him by rejecting the the EU constitution in a March 29 referendum he had called, was a beaten man.

"His weakness in France makes him a lame duck in Europe," the paper said, contrasting him with the right's rising star, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

Renato Brunetta, an economic adviser to Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, told La Stampa daily that the French-German axis within Europe was now dead, adding, "Italy must support Tony Blair, the only one able to exercise leadership at present."

Other newspapers agreed, with Il Corriere della Sera saying that while France's interest in sustaining the Common Agricultural Policy was well known, "we, who are losing competitiveness in the markets, have other interests, other priorities to assert."

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he's a huge backstabbing unethical leader.if the un looks closer to his relationship with saddam hussein,i'll bet they'll find jocky boy hand his hands in the un food for oil cookie jar. thumbsup.gifuser posted image

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