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Chirac asks France to OK constitution

by : Paris
Friday April 15, 2005 - 05:09
8 comments
JPEG - 6.4 kb

In 13 consecutive opinion polls in the past month, French voters have said that they are planning to reject the EU constitution in a referendum on 29 May. A French Non would in effect wreck the treaty and leave the enlarged EU to struggle on with its existing system of decision-making. This would also deal a near-fatal blow to the continent’s bold unification ambitions.

A French rejection would all but destroy the charter - which European leaders agreed on five months ago after years of wrangling, and which needs ratification by all EU member states. A French ‘no’ would cancel or delay key reforms such as the creation of EU president and foreign minister positions, could depress the currently strong euro, and raise doubts about Europe’s unity.

With his political authority at stake, French President Jacques Chirac made a televised pitch to his compatriots to vote for Europe’s landmark constitution that he claims is France’s only route to power in the 21st century.

“If by chance France did not vote in favor (of the constitution), France would at least for a certain time cease to exist politically at the heart of this Europe,” Chirac told a televised debate.

Debating with 83 young people, some of them Euro-skeptics, in a two-hour television political chat show, M. Chirac put up a spirited if often vague defense of the proposed new European Union constitution.

Playing up France’s founding role in the EU, Chirac said the 25-member bloc needed to unite to better express its visions in the world and counterbalance US that might raise powers like India and China. “We do not defend our interests alone. We can only defend them collectively, and if Europe is united. And to be united, it has to be organized,” he said. “Otherwise, we’ll be swept away.”

Despite turmoil in France, the process of approval - whether by referendum or parliamentary vote - is continuing. The charter has already been approved by Spain, Slovenia, Lithuania, Hungary and Italy, and Greece will almost certainly follow suit in a parliamentary vote today.

M. Chirac’s audience expressed doubts and confusion about the text. Even those who were broadly pro-treaty said that on reading it they could not grasp its central point or understand much of the detail.

One young woman asked M. Chirac to give “two or three concrete” examples of how the constitution would benefit France. M. Chirac struggled to give a simple answer. He mentioned a boom in French trade with Eastern Europe; the fact that the treaty would enshrine women’s rights; and would increase co-operation against international crime.

But he kept coming back to his central message: France had nothing to fear; this was a French text, hated by “les Anglo Saxons".

M. Chirac was asked if he would follow the example General de Gaulle, who resigned as president in 1969 after losing a referendum on regional government. President Chirac said that he could reply to that question in one word: Non.

 http://news.dcealumni.com/658/chira...



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> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Monday April 18 - 17:48 - Posted by d42fec9dbadfce25...

In France, the vote-yes camp is trying to play to the French hatred of America, while the vote-no camp is . . . trying to play to the French hatred of America.

"Liberte, egalite, fraternite, xenophobie."

Who cares what France does?




> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Tuesday April 19 - 02:39 - Posted by 0f0737a5ef229a77...

France was the primary instigator of two planet wrecking world wars.
We would be wise to keep a close eye on her.
All she is good for is making mischief, but she is very good at that.



> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Wednesday April 20 - 22:59 - Posted by d5b97dbdbcd941c6...

If you’re content to stick your head in the sand, yes, you’re right, who cares what France does? Or for that matter, what Britain, Germany or any European country does. But if you are a citizen of a country that’s advertised itself as ’the beacon of the free world’ since the First World War, then take your head out of the sand, and start caring. Otherwise, stop calling your country ’the beacon of the free world’ anymore and stop being a hypocrite. In my opinion, you are the xenophobe, you and the millions like you, are the problem. You neo-cons seem to think that it’s still 1946, and that US economic output still represents over half the world’s GDP. Wake up and smell the coffee, you xenophobic neo-cons. The US’s economic output is less than a fifth of the world’s total output today , and if the French people vote ’yes’ on this crucial referendum, the US will soon find itself to be the world’s second economic power, and first place will go to the EU. Most of the leaders of the EU already know that Europe really doesn’t need NATO, nor 250,000 American troops in Europe anymore. After all, the Soviet pact is a ghost now, and they have more to fear from Americans like yourself than any kind of terrorist. A Europe that will make closer ties not only with Russia, which definitely has vaster oil reserves than the Middle East, but with China as well, simply because they find American imperial ambitions as intolerable as any other country’s imperial ambitions. But, these dire warnings will go over your neo-cons’ heads, like so many other facts of life. The Neocons constant griping of the world’s "Hatred of America" I translate as "I’m scared of the world and what it might do to me". Be a man, and get your head out of the sand and deal with the world as a man, not as a blind fool, before its too late.



> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Thursday April 21 - 14:47 - Posted by d42fec9dbadfce25...

My head isn’t in the sand, it’s just that France has chosen to put itself in a position where it can have very little impact on the world. France’s casual view of NATO treaty obligations resulted in its failure to participate at all in the toppling of the Taliban, though France did send some occupation forces after the fact. After the tsunami, while the US sent a carrier battle group including seventy+ helicopters and the Australian military flew tons and tons of supplies into the areas directly effected, saving thousands of lives, France sent one (1) Dauphin helicopter with no relief supplies. (Though France has agreed to write a modest check after the initial dying was over.) France has abdicated its role in the world.

So you think the future of European security is based on an alliance with a guy who’s looking more like the new Czar of Russia every day and the same scared old oligarchs who crushed democrats in Tiananmen Square and lock up their own citizens for doing deep-breathing exercises? China executes more people every month than the US has in 30 years (even accounting for its larger population), and without any pesky 15-year appeal process either.

Your post simply emphasizes that too many in Europe value expediency and accomodation over human liberty.

by the way, get it right—I’m a paleo-con.



> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Wednesday April 20 - 04:14 - Posted by 2f2d948528fdf984...

I see the neoconazi France-haters have crawled out from under a rock to coment on this article. Vive la France motherfuckers! At least they had the guts to stay out of the Bush-shite oil war. On the matter at hand I hope the French do reject the Euro constitution. It is a Trojan horse for neoconazi corporatist attacks on workers. All the syndicalists and libertarian left in Europe reject it for this reason. At the same time few would reject a genuine, bottom-up federation.




> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Wednesday April 20 - 14:36 - Posted by d42fec9dbadfce25...

I love the French people. It’s their government I can’t stand. (Sound familiar? In order to win instant approval in Europe, all an American has to do these days is denounce his elected officials.)

You sound like the peasant in Monty Python’s Holy Grail yelling "Help! Help! I’m being repressed!" You should lighten up. Your beer is too good to go through life so crabby.



> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Thursday April 21 - 02:18 - Posted by 0f0737a5ef229a77...

These people testify to the truth of Sartre’s statement that the unavoidable result of atheistic humanism is total despair.



> Chirac asks France to OK constitution
Tuesday April 26 - 03:00 - Posted by 0f0737a5ef229a77...

not to worry, France will be an Islamic republic under sharia law soon enough, and they will deal with the Louvre and the rest of France’s artistic patrimony with the same sensitive techniques they used on the Afghani stone buddhas. The "Glory that was France".....................MERDE!






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