Monday, May 30, 2005


France rejects EU Constitution

Well, we warned you! In previous posts, we said that the European Union Constitution was in serious trouble in France, and this morning the Associated Press is reporting that the Constitution has been rejected in the French referendum, with 55% voting against it in an election that saw approximately 70% turnout.

I'll have some analysis later today, when I've had a chance to look at some more detailed reports, but let me leave you with a couple of thoughts: first, the really big loser here is Jacques Chirac, whose ego caused him to hold a national referendum instead of a simple parliamentary vote, like Germany, and who waged a high profile personal campaign in support of the constitution for the past several weeks; second, the EU constitution faces a referendum vote in the Netherlands on Wednesday, and polling indicates that opposition there is even higher than it was in France.

The EU constitution, pushed aggressively by the French government for years, is probably now headed back to start over from scratch because of the opposition of the French people. And here's the big question: is it really going to be possible to work out a compromise between the capitalistic open market economy countries of Eastern Europe and the socialist nanny states of France and the Scandinavian countries?

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