Friday, May 27, 2005

Turmoil as Chirac plots to disregard 'non' vote

It looks more and more as if the French voters are going to reject the EU Constitution. This would be a major blow to President Chirac ans his efforts to have France as the centerpiece of the EU. Philip Webster and Charles Bremner are reporting that Chirac has every intention of ignoring a no vote.

"“The decision before us goes far beyond traditional political divisions,” he said. The choice was “about your future and that of your children, of the future of France and the future of Europe. On Sunday, everyone will have a share of the destiny of France in its hands.”

He argued that the constitution would strengthen France’s influence in Europe and reinforce the French social model. Rejecting it would create “divisions and doubts” in Europe when “we need a political Europe capable of bringing about a genuine European power”.

But the latest poll showed the rejectionists’ support growing to 55 per cent — the 13th poll in succession to put the ‘no’ camp ahead. With two days of campaigning left, the French political establishment was left hoping for a Liverpool-style comeback.

Even as M Chirac prepared to deliver his appeal last night the recriminations within his centre-right UMP party had begun, and he was said by colleagues to have accepted that he had bungled by calling a referendum."
So there it is really. This is about Chirac having things in the E done the French way. France's economy is in the dumper, which is one of the reasons that the opposition has been able to muster enough votes as of now to defeat the EU constitution. It will be interesting to see how Chirac goes about ingoring a no vote. The Brits have yet to vote on the EU constitution and Chirac is trying to bully them into acceptance, using the US as the whipping boy. Monday will indeed be a very telling day for the future of the EU. - Sailor

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