Sunday, May 29, 2005


EU dreams collide with French antipathy:
A tattered European Union flag had been lowered to half mast in the heart of the Brussels' EU quarter even before the French polls closed at 10pm on Sunday night.
Although EU leaders insisted the show would go on, it was a night in which the dreams of Europe's elite collided head on with public antipathy.

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, holder of the rotating EU presidency, insisted that the ratification of the constitutional treaty already completed in nine member states should continue.

But over the coming days Mr Juncker will meet 24 fellow European leaders, including Tony Blair, British prime minister, some of whom will express severe doubts about whether they can ratify a treaty so decisively rejected by France.

The scale of the No vote in France was such that senior officials in London said the constitution's prospects were fragile, although Mr Blair is anxious to avoid giving the impression that he wants to kill the treaty.
Remember, it isn't dead until they drive a stake through its heart:
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister and rotating president of the EU, said last week that, even in the event of a French and Dutch No, EU nations should continue putting the treaty to votes until they gave the "right answer". But in Paris such talk was angrily rejected as an affront to democracy. Paul El Sair, a 72-year-old junk dealer and staunch opponent of the constitution, said: "People are saying that we must vote again if we vote No. You must be joking."
Bureaucrats are famously humorless, Paul.