Thursday, May 26, 2005

Try, Try Again

The Times Online reports "Turmoil as Chirac plots to disregard 'non' vote". Why am I not surprised?

President Chirac of France is preparing to throw Europe into confusion and put Britain on the spot by backing moves to keep the European constitution alive if it is rejected in Sunday’s referendum. French diplomats say that M Chirac is expected to urge other countries to proceed with ratification because France does not want to be seen to be blocking the European project. Any attempt to persuade other countries to go ahead will dash the hopes of those in the British Government who believed that a French rejection would make a British referendum unnecessary. ... M Chirac is expected to react to a French "non" by promising to listen to the people before making a second attempt at ratification. He and other "yes" campaigners have said repeatedly during the campaign that there is no “Plan B” if the treaty is rejected and that there would not be a second referendum.



The Guardian has an update of reactions to polls showing that the French may vote "No" at a referendum to ratify a European constitutional treaty. The Times had this to say:

"Why are the people of Europe so angry? ... The answer is simple: it's the economy, stupid ... Their living standards are falling, their pensions are in danger, their children are jobless and their national pride is turning into embarrassment and even shame ... If Europe's economy remains paralysed, then the federalist project is clearly dead, as are all hopes of further significant EU enlargement." -- Anatole Kaletsky, Times

Le Monde got it partly right on the way to getting it entirely wrong. Why should the only possible European vision proceed from Valery Giscard d'Estaing's draft constitution?

the no camp now seems as though it is actually saying yes, in a grandiose way, to another Europe, another economy ... But in reality, the no camp has no alternative programme to offer. Its hope is empty: there are no profound economic and social alternatives for Europe ... Edgar Morin, Le Monde

 Mark Steyn irreverently suggested that possible European futures were not necessarily limited to the turgid visions of M. d'Estaing.

Many Americans wander round with the constitution in their pocket so they can whip it out and chastise over-reaching congressmen and senators at a moment's notice. Try going round with the European Constitution in your pocket and you'll be walking with a limp after two hours: It's 511 pages, which is 500 longer than the U.S. version.

But then France hasn't voted "no" yet.


Blogger bill said...

Socialist utopia implodes.

Bush's fault, the world is abuzz with talk of self governance, not commune governace.


5/27/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Don Black said...

I read a book called, "Our Oldest Enemy," all about the relationship of the United States and France. It is well worth the look. Now France is doing to the EU what they have been doing to the US all along. I should be ashamed that I find this funny, But I'm not.

5/27/2005 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

I'll believe it when I see it. All this hype about rejecting the EU constitution is ploy to make sure all the yes voters are sufficiently energized to get to the polls.

5/27/2005 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger DaveK said...

Some time back, the cynic in me wondered if there was a hidden agenda in the current US fiscal policy, letting the dollar fall precipitously against the Euro. It started around the time of the grand disagreements between the USA and the French/German/Old Europe coalition, over the beginnings of the current war in Iraq.

Living here in Europe, as an American, the dollar's fall has been painful, but not particularly devistating. However, for the Europeans, I'm wondering if it has been the other way around.... devistating, but not particularly painful.

Perhaps Bush was smarter (and more vindictive) than a lot of folks would give him credit for. He knew the US Economy was strong enough to withstand a weak dollar, and that it would actually be beneficial to us in the long run. However for the Europeans, the strong Euro brought short-term increases in buying power, but mostly for foreign (ex-europe) goods. Local economies suffered, factories have closed, jobs were lost, and few new jobs were created. In the end, it has hit the European economies hard. And now they get to pay the piper.

The governments that took so much pride in opposing the Americans are likely to fall, and Bush will be able to go to their replacements with quiet diplomacy, and quiet financial aid in the form of a stronger dollar (and thus a weaker euro).

And only Chirac and Schroeder will realize that the "Cowboy" has ripped their hearts out for the treacherous backstabbing that our European "friends" undertook.

Or maybe W isn't really that vindictive, and this is all just a cynical dream that I've had... but the pieces just keep falling into place!

Just my $.02

5/27/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Good Captain said...

I am probably in the other camp as far as the Dollar's falling is concerned because much of the $'s value is tied to monetary policy and general macroeconomic conditions largely outside the direct control of the President. Remember, our federal interest rates have only now begun creeping back to more "normal" levels from historic (or near historic) lows which had been falling in response to a slowing econony even prioir to 9 - 11.

5/27/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Reagan and his cohorsts, helped by the dasterdly Saudis, busted the Soviets with economic power. Low oil prices chopped Gorby and the Politbureau off at the knees. France and Germany can only swim against the American tide for so long before they tire and drown. The fat is in the fire for Chirac as well as Schroeder.

5/28/2005 08:25:00 PM  

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