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POLITICS: France Could Derail EU Constitution

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posted on May, 29 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by subz

Originally posted by longbow
If the constitution is approved it will lead to the loss of soverignity (at least).

We dont need a constitution and the EU will continue just fine with out it. Maybe a little less streamlined but unmolested nontheless.


I am not sure. Different news sources tell us that Europe is collapsing:

www.newstatesman.com...

Has the EU reached breaking point?
Leader
Monday 30th May 2005

Could the European Union collapse? The question, dismissed a few
years ago as the stirrings of Europhobic fantasists, is now
pertinent. National governments across the continent are struggling
for authority and credibility. Econ-omies are struggling for growth
and dynamism. The confidence and certainties of the post-Second World
War settlement are being eroded. The British disease of animosity
towards European institutions has spread.

The desperate struggle to approve the constitution in countries which
had been the bedrock of the project is not the cause, but the
manifestation, of the crisis. The first sign that something was awry
came in 2001, when Ireland voted No to the Nice Treaty. A country
which until that point had only benefited from membership gave it a
resounding thumbs-down. The minutiae of that particular treaty was
not the issue in that referendum. The Irish simply wanted to make
their anxiety known, and it was an inchoate list comprising anti-
foreigner sentiment, opposition to abortion, support for Sinn Fein
and/or generally giving Bertie Ahern a good kicking.
More at: www.newstatesman.com...

www.turkishweekly.net...

Europe is Collapsing
View: Nevval SEVINDI

We are just about to enter, but Europe is falling apart. It's a
Turkish attitude to put off things for a long time; and by the time
we reach peak levels the conditions change.

Just at the time we are leaning against the EU door, something we
have not been very willing to do in the last 40 years, and whose
process we did not speed up, the paints of the door are falling off,
so to speak. Europe is on the verge of a collapse. Why?

"No" is the most likely outcome of the French referendum on May 29.
According to researches, it is about 52 percent. The [Jacques] Chirac
administration has created an environment of a confidence vote for
itself by overstraining the "yes" votes. This counterinteraction that
will produce political instability, is the beginning of objection to
the enlargement of Europe. The referendum debate generally has been
on Turkey. France does not want to settle within a new conjuncture
and does not want new members. By saying "no," France rejects the
essence and institutional structure of Europe, forms the main axis of
the EU project along with Germany. The collapse of the French leg
will also drag the Netherlands along with it. How will an EU with a
broken backbone claim to be a continental power?
More at: www.turkishweekly.net...

www.sundayherald.com...

Europe: Is the dream falling apart?

It was supposed to be a new way for nations to live and work
together. It's been successful beyond its wildest dreams. But if
France votes No tomorrow it may spell the end of the EU … or perhaps
a revival of the ideals that started the adventure in the first
place. Iain Macwhirter reports

There is understandable gloom and foreboding this weekend over the
future of the European project. If France and the Netherlands
vote "No" to the new constitution, it will likely start a
rejectionist domino effect that will knock on through Denmark,
Ireland and Poland. Europe could be flattened for a generation.
Then again, perhaps this could be the moment when Europe finally
comes to its senses. The French "non" will be a crisis, certainly,
but a crisis is also a turning point. Few will mourn the loss of this
less than inspiring document. It could be an opportunity for Europe
to regain some of its idealism and purpose; a chance to remind itself
that the EU is about more than agricultural support quotas.
More at: www.sundayherald.com...

news.bbc.co.uk...
In his final appeal, Mr Chirac warned that a French "No" would bring
deep instability to Europe, ultimately weakening France at home and
abroad.

He made it clear that there was no better Treaty waiting in the wings
if France says "No" to this one.

But the polls suggest that many French have discounted that
possibility - and unless they change their minds at the last minute,
are preparing to deliver a knock-out blow to the Treaty and to
Jacques Chirac.
More at: news.bbc.co.uk...


business.scotsman.com...

Europe in disarray as Italian economy in crisis

BILL JAMIESON
Sun 22 May 2005

AMACABRE competition appears to have broken out across the Continent
ahead of the French vote on the EU constitution: which of the
Eurozone's economies are in the deepest trouble and could spark a
Europe-wide crisis?

Earlier this year it looked as if Germany was the real source of the
Eurozone's woes. Unemployment climbed to more than five million, and
even allowing for statistical blips, there is little doubt of a
widespread lack of confidence among consumers and business.

But the real basket case may be neither Germany nor France. According
to the Economist it is Italy that is in the deepest trouble. Figures
earlier this month showed the Italian economy fell back into
recession in the first quarter of the year. The latest OECD report on
Italy argues that the country's slow economic growth mainly reflects
its structural failings. With the traditional option of devaluation
now closed as Italy is part of the euro bloc, there are growing
worries of a serious crisis in the public finances as tax revenues
fall behind.

These outcomes are an appalling advertisement for the agenda of
integration that drives the EU constitution. Together these three
economies account for 70% of Eurozone GDP. And the Eurozone continues
to be the weakest performer in global comparisons of growth......
business.scotsman.com...




posted on May, 29 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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my knowledge of european politics is smoewhat limited, could someone explain how this will effect the EU?



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
my knowledge of european politics is smoewhat limited, could someone explain how this will effect the EU?


--By saying "no," France rejects the essence and institutional structure of Europe, forms the main axis of the EU project along with Germany. The collapse of the French leg will also drag the Netherlands along with it. How will an EU with a broken backbone claim to be a continental power?

--If France and the Netherlands vote "No" to the new constitution, it will likely start a rejectionist domino effect that will knock on through Denmark, Ireland and Poland. Europe could be flattened for a generation.

[edit on 29-5-2005 by Roth Joint]



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Exit polls show that French voters gave a resounding NON to the EU constitition:



PARIS - Projections based on exit polls indicated Sunday that French voters rejected the proposed European Union constitution, dealing a severe blow to the ambitious effort to further unite the 25-nation bloc.

Three polls, which did not include results from Paris and the southern city of Lyon, gave the "no" vote between 54.5 percent and 55.6 percent — a result that, if confirmed in the actual count, would be a humiliating defeat for President Jacques Chirac, whose nation pioneered the idea of integrating the continent.

Yahoo! / AP



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
my knowledge of european politics is smoewhat limited, could someone explain how this will effect the EU?


It will not in any way. Most of what is described in the constitution has been in effect for many years. It is just minor points people are disagreeing on.



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by Kriz_4

Originally posted by XphilesPhan
my knowledge of european politics is smoewhat limited, could someone explain how this will effect the EU?


It will not in any way. Most of what is described in the constitution has been in effect for many years. It is just minor points people are disagreeing on.


It is much more serious as you are trying to suggest:

www.sfgate.com.../n/a/2005/05/29/international/i113326D86.DTL
With 448 clauses and countless protocols and annexes laden with suffocating legalese, the [EU Constitutional] treaty was always going to be a hard sell . And with one in 10 French workers unemployed, the electorate was in a rebellious mood.


www.reuters.com...
France rejects EU treaty, Europe faces crisis
Sun May 29, 2005 04:05 PM ET

By Timothy Heritage
PARIS (Reuters) - France overwhelmingly rejected the European Union's
constitution in a referendum on Sunday, pollsters' projections
showed, plunging the EU into crisis and dealing a possibly fatal blow.

The heavy defeat dreaded by EU leaders could weaken France in the 25-
member bloc, stall European integration and unsettle some financial markets. It also wounds President Jacques Chirac two years before
presidential and parliamentary elections.

Projections by three polling groups based on partial results from the
referendum suggested around 55 percent of voters had opposed the EU's
first constitution, designed to simplify decision-making following
the Union's enlargement last year.

Such a heavy defeat in a country that has long been one of the main
pillars of the EU reduces the chances of a repeat vote, which French
leaders had ruled out anyway before the referendum.


www.marketwatch.com...
Expectations of a 'no' vote have pressured the European common
currency in recent months, as a defeat of the constitution is seen as
a political setback to the European project.

The euro has already fallen from above $1.34 in early March to the $1.25 level. Analysts have said part of the fall is related to the
widening interest-rate differentials between the U.S. and the
eurozone, but part of the move is also tied to political instability.

A 'no' vote has also weighed on Turkish equities, as a defeat would
likely delay European Union ascension talks.

Holland on Wednesday was scheduled to vote on the constitution in a
non-binding referendum; the 'no' vote there was last at 57%,
according to polls.

The EU constitution has to be ratified by all 25 member states to
become law.

Equity markets will be closed in the U.S. and Britain on Monday, but
will be open elsewhere in Europe.



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 10:34 PM
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The EU has been doing fine, in a limited role, for something like 53 years before today...

All this talk of breaking backs reeks of melodrama from my vantage point.

But anyway, the fat lady has sung. Now it's just a matter of waiting to see if the theatre collapses...



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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I don't doubt it.

Some of the things in that charter/constitution are ridiculous..

"freedom for children to fully express themselves"

I don't think I'm the only one thinking that this is so un-needed and it is only wasting ink and trees. =/

This is just one in the many ridiculous rules/laws laid out in this "constitution"

It has 448 Articles in it - the U.S. constitution has 7.

Not that that is necessarily bad, it is just that 90% of those Articles are not needed whatsoever.

-wD



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
..................
You really think that they will just pull out over one little hurdle? Or because the Americans are paranoid about any little perceived threat, that means the rest of us are too? Not likely.

Try to understand something before posting your opinion please.


For crying aloud, what in the world does the US has to do with this?.... nothing that's what....

And some people talk about Americans being arrogant... riiiight.....

Perhaps you should stay on topic instead of "spouting drivel" against the U.S. all the time.

BTW, someone mentioned that the people behind the non vote was pretty much the far right of France?.... well according to the votes, 54.87% of the people voted no, so i guess 54.87% of the voters in France are far right....

French Voters Reject First EU Charter


[edit on 29-5-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 12:12 AM
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Dude, you can't tie the U.S. to this! We're just sitting back snickering at your constitution while thanking the LORD we have a sensible one.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 01:53 AM
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Muaddib, perhaps you may want to read my post in context?:




posted by ulshadow
EU might work just fine now but it won't last that long because there are far too many countries in the Union, each country Probably have it's own agenda. I can bet that the Union will break up if they ever get attack or a economy crises because all those countries will go Separate ways.



Thats just uninformed drivel. Too big? we have just taken on new members, at considerable effort to them as well to reach the standards required. You really think that they will just pull out over one little hurdle? Or because the Americans are paranoid about any little perceived threat, that means the rest of us are too? Not likely.

Try to understand something before posting your opinion please.


As you can see I was responding to ulshadows rediculous claims of it falling apart, or collapsing "if attacked". Attacked by whom? Why must there always be an enemy at the gate ready to burst in and start raping and pillaging? So perhaps you should stay on topic, or learn to read. Not surprising you jumped in without thinking there, you make a habit of it.



Dude, you can't tie the U.S. to this! We're just sitting back snickering at your constitution while thanking the LORD we have a sensible one.


Its NOT a bloody constitution. Thats what you Yanks appear to misunderstand and then get all high-horsey about it and the supposed "collapse" of the EU.

The French only voted "NON" because they are self-centered, they where voting against Chirac. Most didn't even know what the document says and where using this referendum to kick Chirac in the balls. Personally, and I might be wrong here, but I thought Presidential/Parliamentary elections where for that, not something completely unrelated.

Those that did vote "NON" for the actual document are only worried that their crappy economy will fail even more if liberalised, like the UK. They fail to see it will actually do some good in the long run, but thats the French for you


[edit on 30/5/05 by stumason]



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:22 AM
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I agree most people aren't voting against this for the right reason. But whatever the reason, they're making the right decision. If I was European, there'd be no way in hell I'd vote for that constitution.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:40 AM
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I agree most people aren't voting against this for the right reason. But whatever the reason, they're making the right decision. If I was European, there'd be no way in hell I'd vote for that constitution.


True. Personally I wouldn't as it is so damn long winded. 300+ pages is a bit much to have everyone read and then agree on. I think they should go back, slim it down and make it more clear and concise. The crux of this "constitution" (I think they should change the name as well, as it is misleading) is a good idea, but far to long winded and beaurocratic for most to understand or want to understand.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 04:45 AM
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Originally posted by stumason
Muaddib, perhaps you may want to read my post in context?:
...........


You were attacking the U.S. in a post that has nothing to do with the U.S.

This is an European problem created by Europeans....nothing to do with the U.S.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:50 AM
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You were attacking the U.S. in a post that has nothing to do with the U.S.

This is an European problem created by Europeans....nothing to do with the U.S.


Oh dear, poor old Muaddib. Getting shirty over a comment I made that YOU have taken out of context? I have explained that comment above, it is you who lacks the ability to understand or read english.

Muaddib, you are one of the first to chime in and berate Europeans for one thing or another, especially those much-hated, "evil" Frenchmen, but the moment I make a comment that is in defense to absurd claims by an American that Europe will fall apart or break up if "attacked" (by whom was my question? Which was then followed by a legitimate comment about American Paranoia where they think there is a nasty, bogey man round the corner ready to get them) then you start crying.

Poor you, perhaps I can change you diaper now? Would you like a cuddle? Need protecting from the nasty monsters? Awww.....

Nice to see you say it's nothing to do with the US. Maybe you can take that to heart and spread the word. Maybe we will see an end to the blatantly racist threads that keep popping up against France/Germany and now even the UK? Not likely...



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:07 AM
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as posted by Stumason
Maybe we will see an end to the blatantly racist threads that keep popping up against France/Germany and now even the UK? Not likely...


How many of those threads have you engaged in?

And maybe those "blatantly racist threads" concerning the "evil" US " that keep popping up" can likewise come to an end, eh Stumason?

Not likely....
Ironic how when the shoe gets put on the other foot, how the voices of "its not fair" get sung.





seekerof



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:20 AM
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How many of those threads have you engaged in?

How many? probably most of them, Seeker, as you well know




And maybe those "blatantly racist threads" concerning the "evil" US " that keep popping up" can likewise come to an end, eh Stumason?

Not likely....
Ironic how when the shoe gets put on the other foot, how the voices of "its not fair" get sung.


I never start them, nor do I actually rail on the US that much, except in areas where there is plenty of room for criticism, namely Foreign Policy and environmental issues. I never complain about Americans at large, just your Government
. If there was a left wing and right wing on here (which all know there is and members spring to mind), I would sit in the middle. I have even reached agreement with Edsinger on a China thread, which is a novelty! Sometimes I swing left, sometimes I swing right, depends on the issue.

I personally prefer to talk about UFO's and Conspiracys rather than getting all political, so if both sets of threads would cease (or at the very least tone down the rhetoric), then we would all get along much better.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib
BTW, someone mentioned that the people behind the non vote was pretty much the far right of France?.... well according to the votes, 54.87% of the people voted no, so i guess 54.87% of the voters in France are far right....



Originally posted by subz
Also its not just the right wingers that have pushed a "non" campaign its also the left wingers who fear an Anglo-Saxon style free market economy and the liberal economic policies its entails.


Are you trying to claim a victory for world-wide conservatives?


Talk about clutching at straws.



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 01:06 AM
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Dutch Voters Follow French in Rejecting EU Constitution

Taken from:
www.npr.org...

Europe Stumbles on Path to Greater Integration
by Sylvia Poggioli

The Latest Report
Jun. 1, 2005

NPR.org, June 1, 2005 · The Netherlands today followed France in
rejecting the European Union constitution, according to exit polls, a
result that sent fresh shockwaves through the European political
establishment. Not only did the rejection lead to a cabinet shakeup
in France, it is likely to have strong repercussions on the
continent's broader political landscape as well.

A sampling of headlines in the European media gives a sense of the
dismay and uncertainty the French "no" unleashed: "A Turning Point
for French and European Union History," "Europe has Been Brought to a
Standstill," and "Masochist Masterpiece."

Just one year after the European Union expanded from 15 to 25 member
states, the continent's integration process appears to have come to a
halt. Political analysts fear that rejection of the constitution will
lead to a deadlocked and inward-looking EU, unsure of whether to
continue the ratification process.

A Loss of Momentum

The European Union will not dissolve. It will continue to function
under the previous, cumbersome treaties. But it will certainly lose
momentum. Decision-making could be stalled for months, enlargement to
new members -- particularly Muslim Turkey -- will become more
difficult, and it may become harder to impose spending and currency
discipline, leading to economic uncertainty.

The reasons for the "no" vote in France were various, contradictory
and even irrational. The "no" front stretched from the extreme right
to the extreme left, and included a large number of young people. A
key factor was widespread unease over last year's EU expansion, which
prompted fears of job losses to East Europeans willing to work for
lower wages (the so-called Polish plumber invasion).

France is already facing problems integrating and assimilating its 5
million Muslims and their traditions into an officially secular
society. Large numbers of French voters were very worried about the
possibility that Turkey, with a population of 70 million Muslims,
could also become an EU member.


Taken from:
www.mg.co.za.../breaking_news/breaking_news__international_news/

European Union vision in tatters

02 June 2005 07:18

European leaders' long-held dream of anchoring the continent's greater unification in its first Constitution was dissolving before their eyes on Wednesday night after the Dutch delivered the second crushing blow to the idea in three days.

Given the chance to have their say in their first ever referendum, the Netherlands voted by an overwhelming majority against the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

The Dutch rejected the treaty by 61,6% to 38,4% on a high turnout of 62%, according to a tally of almost all the votes.

Both the turnout and the margin of victory for the no camp were substantially higher than opinion polls had predicted.

Following the French rejection of the treaty at the weekend, the second blow from another founding EU member left the European elite reeling and facing the prospect of a protracted period of recrimination, conflict and crisis.

President Jacques Chirac of France said the double negative had laid bare "questions and concerns about the development of the European project". In Germany, the Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, warned that the crisis over the Constitution "must not become Europe's general crisis".

Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, said the verdict of French and Dutch voters "raises profound questions for all of us about the future direction of Europe".

Although nine of the 25 members have already ratified the treaty, European leaders last night appeared to be inching towards an acceptance that the double no has killed off the Constitution. Jose Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, underlined the more nuanced approach when he made no mention of the need to continue with ratification in a statement and late-night press conference.

"It is a difficult moment for Europe," Barroso said, adding that heads of government would decide what to do next at their summit in two weeks. But he warned EU leaders not to abandon the treaty yet. "I think it will not be wise [for] leaders to come with new initiatives or unilateral decisions."

The Dutch revolt against their rulers in The Hague and Brussels was without parallel. For 50 years, the Netherlands has been a stronghold of European integration, home to the Maastricht treaty that produced the most striking instrument of unification -- the euro single currency.

As last weekend in France, the no triumph was ascribed to multiple factors all merging into a voters' mutiny.

The three-party centre-right coalition of the Christian democrat prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, is strongly in favour of the Constitution. It is also the most unpopular government in living memory.

The Dutch are wary of forfeiting their veto in European policy making. As the biggest per capita net contributors to the Brussels budget, they also feel bullied by the bigger countries and let down by the single currency, seen to have brought steep price rises while the currency's rulebook has been flouted with impunity by Germany and France. The economy is stagnant and unemployment has risen to 7%.

Growing anti-Muslim sentiment, opposition to EU membership for Turkey, and fears over losing control of immigration policy all contributed to the debacle for the pro-European camp, producing a surly and hostile electorate. The no camp was helped rather than hindered by a hapless government pro campaign which was late in getting off the ground and appeared to take the electorate for granted.

Balkenende said he was "very disappointed" but promised to respect the outcome.

"A no is a no," he stated, but added that the ratification process for the Constitution "can continue" in the 14 member states still to state their views.

For Europe as a whole, the next weeks and months, coinciding with the British assumption of the EU presidency, seem likely to produce bitter clashes on everything from Turkish accession and enlargement to budget agreements and economic policy. There is also the question of what can be salvaged from the Constitution, which took two years to be agreed.

In a sign of the changed atmosphere in Brussels, the leader of the Socialist group in the European Parliament backed away from his strident calls for ratification to continue. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the president of the Party of European Socialists, said: "It is now up to the European heads of government to come forward with a proposal for tack ling the institutional issues which the Constitution is intended to resolve. The future of the Constitution must be clarified."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is confident fellow European leaders will eventually accept it is impossible to soldier on after such emphatic rejection by France and the Netherlands. But he accepts it may take time for Chirac to concede that the Constitution is dead. - Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005



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