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France in disarray, possible end to EU

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posted on May, 26 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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www.timesonline.co.uk...

"HE leader of France’s ruling party has privately admitted that Sunday’s referendum on the European constitution will result in a “no” vote, throwing Europe into turmoil.
“The thing is lost,” Nicolas Sarkozy told French ministers during an ill-tempered meeting. “It will be a little ‘no’ or a big ‘no’,” he was quoted as telling Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister, whom he accused of leading a feeble campaign."

"lthough Europe would be thrown into disarray, the Government would be greatly relieved if M Sarkozy were right. "

"inisters have privately told The Times that Britain is prepared to ditch its commitment to a referendum if France, or the Netherlands next Wednesday, vote against the constitution. They believe that if the French say “no”, President Chirac will have to declare the constitution dead or promise a renegotiation."

tsk tsk it seems that the nations in Europe still dont know how to get together or agree with each other.
French people afraid it gives to much concessions to the Brits. makes me laugh about their own ambition that could backfire.




posted on May, 26 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Hmmm, 'The Times' no anti-EU agenda on that paper ever.
Yeah right.


The latest we think we know is that the French vote is likely to be close (and let's not forget that only a little while back we were all being told the French people would reject it by a very big margin......

.....and the Times reporting that 'it'll be a big or little no' is just priceless!

No wonder so many people in the UK say it went down the toilet when Murdock bought it.)

As for "possible end of EU"?



Very funny. Utterly absurd but very funny.

Of course moving from the usual portrayal of the EU as some sort of dictatorial empire enslaving the populations of the sovereign nation states of Europe to this switch into 'they can't agree anything' just makes it even more funny.

Talk about wanting to have it both ways.

No-one has rejected this constitution so far, I'll await the result after sunday's vote with interest.

But making wild (and totally ludicrous) claims that a "no" means the end of the EU is just beyond belief.

A French "no" means they go away and come up with something else later, that is all.

Just as when Ireland voted "no" on the Nice Treaty, they went away, addressed the Irish concerns and when the revised Nice Treaty was put to the people of Ireland in a later referendum they voted "yes".

No big deal and certainly not the end of the EU.
Wake up and wise up.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 01:27 PM
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I guess you can always count on the media to blow things completely out of proportion.



We should not forget that EU already exists and its existence depends on dozens already ratified treaties, and not on EU constitution.



tsk tsk it seems that the nations in Europe still dont know how to get together or agree with each other.


We get along quite well with eachother, me thinks

ALREADY CREATED European Union, dozens of treaties, agreements, regarding economy, education, turism, travel, industry, sports, music, media, entertainment, police forces, laws, courts, no borders, same currency, lots and lots of joint projects both in EU and in other countries around the world, specially in third world countries... the list goes on and on and on....



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by paperclip
I guess you can always count on the media to blow things completely out of proportion.


- Somehow I think the idea of the "possible end of the EU" is entirely one of deltaboy's own making, I doubt even the London Times in it's current sorry state these days would make such a ludicrous statement.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:49 AM
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As I've said before the certain death of the current proposed EU constitution will not mean the end of the EU as the treaty system will persist. The EU member states after this blow will need to decide if they want a powerful centralized federal government like the U.S. expressed in a stronger, simplified consititution that anyone can read in a short time and understand or continue with the treaty system of independent states.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
As I've said before the certain death of the current proposed EU constitution will not mean the end of the EU as the treaty system will persist.


- "Certain death"?!

You do realise this treaty has already been ratified by 9 nations already, do you?

If it is rejected by any nation in their referenda the track recod of the EU is to go away and address the national public's concerns and present a revised drafty for their approval.
As per Ireland and the Nice Treaty.

Do you need this spelt out more slowly?


The EU member states after this blow will need to decide if they want a powerful centralized federal government like the U.S. expressed in a stronger, simplified consititution that anyone can read in a short time and understand or continue with the treaty system of independent states.


- This is nonsense.
Once again you are attempting to see this treaty as if it were in any way similar or equivalent to the USA's constitution.

It isn't remotely similar and it is not in any way intended to be.

Did you miss the part about how it is a distillation and rationalisation of 50yrs worth of international treaty between the sovereign nation states of Europe......

.....or are you just deliberately ignoring that point to troll for a response?

[edit on 27-5-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
You do realise this treaty has already been ratified by 9 nations already, do you?

I can't let this misleading sentence pass.
Rectification: "this treaty has already been ratified by 11 nations (now Latvia (parliament) and Switzerland (referendum)), of which only 2 referendums, of which in the other 9 there are vast differences between the popular vote and the vote of the so-called representatives' vote".
Are we in a democracy or not?


If it is rejected by any nation in their referenda the track recod of the EU is to go away and address the national public's concerns and present a revised drafty for their approval.
As per Ireland and the Nice Treaty.

Start by cutting down the maximum number of pages to 20. This will force a change of format: either a real treaty (more precise) or a real constitution (more general), not this unreadable ugly bureaucratic mess.


Did you miss the part about how it is a distillation and rationalisation of 50yrs worth of international treaty between the sovereign nation states of Europe.....

No, it is not.
It is a huge step backwards, against the principles of the European construction. Instead of a Europe of states, we now have a Europe of majorities and minorities. This treaty is a dangerous political precedent. Do you think, if the treaty is in vigor, if the EURO then fails, the monster we have created, with no political or economic basis, giving us orders?
Even the EURO (a currency unit) is being used as a political tool with little consideration for economic basics. There is only so much you can stretch a currency before it breaks because of the differentials in local economies. This has happened before:
Latin Union: lasted 5 years.
Nordic Union: lasted 2 years.
Bretton Woods: lasted 11 years.
Argentina: peso pegged to the dollar + incompetent politicians => bankruptcy
Centro African Franc: same story
etc.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by StarBreather
I can't let this misleading sentence pass.
Rectification: "this treaty has already been ratified by 11 nations (now Latvia (parliament) and Switzerland (referendum)), of which only 2 referendums, of which in the other 9 there are vast differences between the popular vote and the vote of the so-called representatives' vote".


- Yeah, so where is the "misleading" part?
The Treatry has been ratified by (now) 11 ther nations.

Just because some chose referenda and others not does not disqualify the ratification.

Since when was a referendum the only valid expression of democracy?

What ever happened to representitive democracy?


Are we in a democracy or not?


- Show me the EU member that is not a democracy then, hmm?


Start by cutting down the maximum number of pages to 20.


- No. Ain't going to happen.


This will force a change of format: either a real treaty (more precise) or a real constitution (more general), not this unreadable ugly bureaucratic mess.


- For some reason you are desparate for a US type constitution in the EU, why?

We are a cooperating collective of already sovereign states; what on earth makes you think a US type constitution is either workable or appropraite here?


No, it is not.


- Actually it is.

Some of our Treaties go back 50yrs.
You cannot simply ignore this and wish this inconvenient fact (to you) away.


It is a huge step backwards, against the principles of the European construction. Instead of a Europe of states, we now have a Europe of majorities and minorities.


- I think this statement alone would lead me to believe that you have not read any of the document and/or have no clue as to how it sits (or meshes) with the law on human rights etc in Europe in addition to the national situation within each member state.

This so-called 'constitution' does not 'proscribe' the people's and/or the sovereign state's rights, think of it as putting a floor under them.......most states have people's rights beyond the EU minimums.

This sounds just like the typical American quibble over terminology.


This treaty is a dangerous political precedent. Do you think, if the treaty is in vigor, if the EURO then fails, the monster we have created, with no political or economic basis, giving us orders?


- "Dangerous"!? Honestly, you anti-EU guys.

At some point those who insist on holding up this scary version of the EU are going to have to recognise what has just happened.

The very fact that these recent votes demonstrate the impossibility of anything like the version of the EU they think might come to be seems to have utterly escaped those that dream of that kind of future.

The EU does not "order" the sovereign states around, the sovereign states agree the EU business.


Even the EURO (a currency unit) is being used as a political tool with little consideration for economic basics.


- Everything is politics, get over it.

......and as for the Euro failing?
You may have noticed that it has only just come down off of it's all-time highs.
(and lowly ministers in the Italian coalition gov. - the Social Affairs Minister - making noises about Italy leaving or the matter being discussed in some parts of the German press - but no-one serious in the German body politic is hardly grounds to believe the wheels are coming off.)(


There is only so much you can stretch a currency before it breaks because of the differentials in local economies. This has happened before:
Latin Union: lasted 5 years.
Nordic Union: lasted 2 years.
Bretton Woods: lasted 11 years.
Argentina: peso pegged to the dollar + incompetent politicians => bankruptcy
Centro African Franc: same story
etc.


- If you really want to equate the Euro (founded on the collective strength of the major European economies) with Agentina's woers, or Africa's you knock yourself out.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Just because some chose referenda and others not does not disqualify the ratification.

This sentence exemplifies the typical oversimplification of the true believer.
In Holland: the treaty was rejected by 70% of the popular vote, with a 62% turnout, and in the same country, would there not have been a referendum, it would have been approved by 80% of the parliament.
Now, do the math:
70% NO means 30% YES
0.3 x 0.62 = 0.186 means 18.6 % REAL YES
80 - 18.6 = 61.4
Conclusion: there is a staggering 61.4% of the YES vote that is objectively unaccountable.




Are we in a democracy or not?

- Show me the EU member that is not a democracy then, hmm?

In the best of intentions, our representatives would be a faithful mirror of the spectrum of opinions accross the political spectrum. What the recent referendums have revealed is an unprecedented disconnect between the tax-supported political elites and the tax-paying peoples. The fact that it is happening simultaneously all over Europe is the result of similar economic policies that have been followed since the last world war, combined with a certain discourse of propaganda that has been spread and taught in Universities and molded the minds of the current crop of politicians.



- For some reason you are desparate for a US type constitution in the EU, why?

A more readable text, written in an entirely different litterary style, would be the expression of a fundamentally different understanding of the future potential of Europe.
Such a text would not lose itself in details of micromanagement, neither would it consolidate specific matters of policy.



We are a cooperating collective of already sovereign states; what on earth makes you think a US type constitution is either workable or appropraite here?

Exactly for this reason, the constitution must be more like a charter, with some basic principles that can easily be supported by signataries. This is not the moment to use the Consitution as an opportunity to try to create more political offices, and end up losing everything.



Some of our Treaties go back 50yrs.
You cannot simply ignore this and wish this inconvenient fact (to you) away.

50 years? You should know that between England and Portugal there is a treaty still in vigor since 1386, the Treaty of Windsor.
Of course I do not wish any treaties to go away, you are just pretending that I do.




It is a huge step backwards, against the principles of the European construction. Instead of a Europe of states, we now have a Europe of majorities and minorities.

- I think this statement alone would lead me to believe that you have not read any of the document and/or have no clue as to how it sits (or meshes) with the law on human rights etc in Europe in addition to the national situation within each member state.

Article I-14: Areas of shared competence
(a) internal market;
(b) social policy, for the aspects defined in Part III;
(c) economic, social and territorial cohesion;
(d) agriculture and fisheries, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources;
(e) environment;
(f) consumer protection;
(g) transport;
(h) trans-European networks;
(i) energy;
(j) area of freedom, security and justice;
(k) common safety concerns in public health matters
Article I-12: Categories of competence
(blablablah)
2. When the Constitution confers on the Union a competence shared with the Member States in a specific area, the Union and the Member States may legislate and adopt legally binding acts in that area. The Member States shall exercise their competence to the extent that the Union has not exercised, or has decided to cease exercising, its competence.
(blablablah)
And we're still only at page 22 of 485! Already we see the grubby hands of the bureaucrats grabbing more and more competencies. If this were not the intention, the last sentence of clause 2 would have been omitted, pure and simply.



- Everything is politics, get over it.

I disagree with this on so many levels, that it is hard trying to explain.
Just 2 ideas (philosophical detour):
1. When politics exceeds its bounds, it hits a wall. After the debacle and the dust has settled, look closely: the wall is usually still there. Politics was powerless to tear it down.
2. A world where everything is politics would be a world of primates (survival of the fittest). But fitness is too much a function of the environment, and not enough a function of higher goals. A world where everything is politics ultimately doesn't admit goals beyond basic survival.



- If you really want to equate the Euro (founded on the collective strength of the major European economies) with Agentina's woers, or Africa's you knock yourself out.

Some may have more strength. The differences between countries can too wide for a common currency.
Usually, it goes like this:
A
Weak economy = no production, high taxes, high debt
high taxes => no production
no production + high currency => no exports
B
high debt => more internal debt
more internal debt => more external debt
A+B
no exports + huge external debt => default ("sorry, we can't pay")

This sequence of events has happened over and over, not only in Africa and Argentina, but also many times in Europe.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by StarBreather
This sentence exemplifies the typical oversimplification of the true believer.


- No. It is simply a matter of recognising that referenda have a limited application and are open to abuse or simply are inappropriate.

You can deny the facts all you like but it remains undeniable that many people voted "no" on the basis of issues other than the detail of this so-called 'constitution'.


In the best of intentions, our representatives would be a faithful mirror of the spectrum of opinions accross the political spectrum. What the recent referendums have revealed is an unprecedented disconnect between the tax-supported political elites and the tax-paying peoples.


- Once again I find this a deeply superficial reading of the state of politics in Europe.

The people of Europe have complaints about many things, in particular globalisation, immigration, Turkish membership of the EU etc etc.

They were sending a message, and not necessarily about this 'constitution'.


A more readable text, written in an entirely different litterary style, would be the expression of a fundamentally different understanding of the future potential of Europe.


- Er, we already have 'constitutions' from our national governments, what on earth do we need a 'US style' one from the EU for?

(and you still have yet to answer how this would work.....talk about wanting it both ways.
On the one hand you complain about an over-bearing EU and now you want the EU to impose an American type constitution on everybody.....what for?)


Such a text would not lose itself in details of micromanagement, neither would it consolidate specific matters of policy.


- In other words you insist on some weird Euro-version of the American example.
I think this is not only totally inappropriate and unnecessary but utterly unworkable given the fundamental configuration of the EU and how it works.

(Are you American? It's ok, you can admit it if you are.)


Exactly for this reason, the constitution must be more like a charter, with some basic principles that can easily be supported by signataries.


- I think you are getting hung up on the term. It was meant as short-hand to give a quick and easy idea as to what it is/was.
It was never supposed to be anything like the US constitution as that is nothing like what we need.


50 years? You should know that between England and Portugal there is a treaty still in vigor since 1386, the Treaty of Windsor.
Of course I do not wish any treaties to go away, you are just pretending that I do.


- Actually I was referring to EEC/EU Treaties.

I am well aware Europe has bilateral Treaties that go much further back, but that is utterly besides the point.

Treaties suited to an EEC of 9 or 12 or an EU of 15 are clumky and difficult to say the least in an EU of 25/27/28.

You have been avoiding this point since we started debating this so I can only imagine you are simply wishing this fact away.


And we're still only at page 22 of 485! Already we see the grubby hands of the bureaucrats grabbing more and more competencies. If this were not the intention, the last sentence of clause 2 would have been omitted, pure and simply.


- You can pick and choose what you think those terms mean.
I'd say that actually the opposite applies.....you are refusing to acknowledge the "may" word in there, several times.

You completely ignore how the EU comes to legislate in the first place, like many opposed to the EU you seem to imagine it as an autonomous entity and not subject to the bidding of the constituent member states governments.


I disagree with this on so many levels, that it is hard trying to explain.


- You (as I) are entitled to your opinion.


Some may have more strength. The differences between countries can too wide for a common currency.


- Again you can claim a single currency a step too far but nevertheless it exists and is working.

Whatever the initial difficulties it is my view that these are nothing more than the kind of teething troubles all major changes face (the UK, for instance, experienced difficulties similar to those the Dutch and many Europeans complain about following the introduction of the Euro, hen we went decimal)


This sequence of events has happened over and over, not only in Africa and Argentina, but also many times in Europe.


- Europe has never has a common currency of this magnitude and by free choice.
We have never been here before.

(and if common currencies were such a terrible and unworkable idea you'd expect the idea of a national currency - particularly in a large country - to have never happened, hmmm?
We will find the way, we usually do.

The Euro is here and it is here to stay, it is already way to big to be discarded. It's failure would hurt everyone so no-one will tolerate that,


[edit on 7-6-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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sminkeypinkey, I think you think that I hate the EU, but that's not true. Since I actually love visiting Europe, I think the Euro is great because of its convenience. I didn't like this Constitution because I think it wasn't democratic, transparent, or even understandable by the average person. I know I don't have a say in getting it approved, but I'm still just voicing my opinion on the matter in the best interest of you Europeans to my way of thinking.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
sminkeypinkey, I think you think that I hate the EU


- Not so; I think that you are an American who sees it as a growing threat to US economic dominance and usually responds accordingly.

(along with a touch of tail-pulling over it.
That all seems perfectly normal and ok to me.
I don't think I'd say anti-EU = hate.

Then again some do, we have a special 'strain of the British anti-EU fruitcakes here in the UK who insist on seeing Adolf & Co. at every turn, but they are a distinct minority. Thankfully.)


I didn't like this Constitution because I think it wasn't democratic, transparent, or even understandable by the average person.


- That's the problem in a nutshell.

I'd suggest most didn't really know the full detail of it and voted on other issues.

Hell, I'm a supporter of the EU and I can honestly say I've ploughed my way through a couple of guides and only sections of the actual document.

That is what is so wrong with referenda.
That is why mature democracies IMO should avoid them.
(I note the distinct lack of them when it comes to Federal US law and any contentious issues sent ot the Supreme Court in the USA)

We pay people (some, we hope are expert, some lay people) to examine and represent us full time in our Parliaments, we do not have the time (and in many cases the inclination) to examine detailed and important documents. Nor are we used to dealing with such documents generally.

I challenge anyone to pick any primary piece of important legislation from their government and not be faced with a document similar to this so-called 'constitution' Treaty.
It's law so it has to be ultra precise and detailed and complicated.

To compare and contrast it with the US constitution is to utterly misunderstand what the original intention was and the situation in Europe vis the EU and the sovereign member nation states.

Sadly in attempting to use this term as handy short-hand it has given people a false impression of what it was meant to be and invited unflattering (if misguided) comparisons with the short and uncomplicated US document.


I know I don't have a say in getting it approved, but I'm still just voicing my opinion on the matter in the best interest of you Europeans to my way of thinking.


- Look mate I just don't get this 'if you aren't from here you can't express an opinion' stuff.
To the best of my knowledge this is a free international message board and I'm glad of that, more power to it.
Voice your opinion. I'm glad to hear it (even if sometimes I can't help thinking you're poking a little fun).

I am interested in hearing what the world (or that little part of it that posts here on ATS) thinks about what is happening here. I could care less if you are American, Russian, Chinese or Nepalese! I don't see that as disbarring an opinion in any way.

Just as I have opinions about what is happening in the US.

I would not, however, pretend to know the full details and the whys and wherefores of what is happening there.
That is the only proviso I would state; but as I wouldn't claim to be American (or leave it implied) people know that and can judge my comments in that light.
That seems fair, no?

[edit on 7-6-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 01:40 AM
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plain and simple:if the EU nations cannot work as one as the states of the US can,there will never be any other nation to rival the US excepting China.

I was looking forward to seeing Europe slowly turning into the united states of Europe,but inturn all im seeing is acouple of nations not wanting to work together because "their different"or "special.

Its a shame to see the EU crumble.Its gets me to the heart,really.I was looking forward to seeing the US becoming one of the superpowers in the world once again.Yes sure,theres hope yet for china,but still,it would of been great to see a united Europe,instead of abunch of nations not wanting to work together.

We complain about the US simply because well,its the only superpower(it is true)yet many tend to forget that the US is many countries united,and inorder to rival them,u must unite.

I apologise if my opinions may offend,I just have real strong views and was somuch looking forward to a Europe as one.



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