Sunday, April 03, 2005


EU Constitution threatened ... by France

A couple of days ago, The Captain’s Quarters took note of a series of public opinion polls in France that seem to indicate that the EU Constitution is in serious danger of being rejected in the upcoming public referendum. As is usual, the Capn’s commentary is to the point and on the mark:

The French seemed perfectly pleased with the concept of a united Europe -- as long as an EU meant basically Greater France, complete with its highly socialized nanny state, severe limitations on economic competition, and control from Paris. The French people wanted a new French empire handed to them by a voice vote, or at the least a Continental sphere of influence not seen since the days of Louis XIV. As long as the EU consisted of France, Germany, Spain, the Scandinavian countries, and Ireland, the French got exactly what they wanted.

Now, however, most of Europe has joined in, and the 25 states currently in the EU have very different ideas about the economic structure of the union and the amount of influence they will tolerate from the French. Especially the Eastern Europeans, who famously were told by Jacques Chirac to "shut up" about Saddam Hussein and the liberation of Iraq; their sovereignty and self-determination have been hard-won and they do not see the need to willingly place themselves under the thumb of another foreign government, no matter how benign.

Go read the whole piece, including the comments, and watch for fascinating details, like the fact that the German government managed to simply by-pass the whole messy let-the-people-be-heard-referendum thingy, and the fact that at least some members, or maybe one of the 3 trillion subcommittees, or something or other, of the Grand Council of High and Mighty Euro Poobahs, or whoever, has already decreed that it doesn’t really matter if the referendum fails in a country, if the government has signed on, it’s not like the people of that country have any authority to cancel out.

I wish I had something intelligent and insightful to add, but I don’t. I can’t. All I keep thinking of is that goofy French knight up on the battlements in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, shouting down something like “Now go away, you filthy uncultured capitalistic eastern European troglodytes, and take your economic competition and your 40 hour work weeks with you! If you will not play by our rules, then we will not come out to play at all!” And then, turning to the other French knights crouched, snickering, behind the walls, “Eh, anybody know where I can exchange this Euroweenie monopoly money for some dollars?”

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