Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Continental Dream: Will the French Shatter It?

Oh those pesky French. According to the latest polling data, the ordinary French citizen is about to vote down the EU constitution. This would be a very hard slap in the face to old Jaques Chirac and the other french elitists. There are also some rumbligs in other countries on rejecting the EU constitution. It would be the irony of inronies for old Jaques should France reject this. Here is some more from an article in the New York Times.

"So with few exceptions, French politicians on both the right and the left have predicted dire consequences for both France and Europe if that happens.

"We would likely be completely isolated," President Jacques Chirac said last month. Rejection of the constitution would threaten France's ability to protect its national interests; nothing less than "peace, stability, democracy, human rights and economic development and social progress in the world of tomorrow" is at stake, he added."
Read this to mean that France would finally have to accept it is not a world power and would finally have to accept that it is not. A blow to Franco arrogance to be sure.
""The French believe that their system is the best and that they are the center of the universe," Bernard Kouchner, the Socialist former health minister and one of the most popular political figures in France, said in a telephone interview. "It's not true. They don't realize they are like an old ship sinking slowly in the sea."

The constitution has been transformed into a repository of all the fears of the French today.

Some are convinced that the constitution will unfairly strengthen the power of the new countries of the union. Nearly 70 percent of farmers are opposed, for example, according to a poll in mid-March, because they see the European Union taking away precious farm subsidies.

Others fear that accepting the document will further damage the ailing French economy and increase unemployment - 10 percent in January - by moving jobs to places like Poland.

"For the past 25 years unemployment has been the French public's foremost concern and their prime voting motivation," said a recent editorial in the left-leaning newspaper Libération, in explaining mounting opposition to the vote."
The French like to think that they are the center of the known universe. It is interesting how some in France now fear the old Warsaw Pact countries that are now a part of the EU. As for the ailing French economy, when was it ever really healthy? Contrary to what the leftists tell you, socialism really does not work.
"But so far the French elite has failed to explain what the constitution will do for the average French citizen. This is a country where lobbying has not yet been elevated to a fine art. There is no "war room," as there was when the Clinton administration lobbied Americans to embrace the idea of NATO expansion, no bipartisan observer group of lawmakers, no pinpointing of interest groups."
Has some one actually explained what this all means, to the French elite?

This will be interesting to watch as it unfolds. A French no vote on the EU constitution would have some very serious ramifications all over Europe. - Sailor

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