Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pay-back time

Remember President Chirac telling those uppity East Europeans that they missed an excellent chance of keeping quiet? They did not like it then, and they do not like it now.

However, with the French opinion polls showing a consistent non majority, President Chirac grandly agreeing to address a carefully selected audience on TV and other politicians such as Jean-Marie Le Pen openly announcing that l’escroc’s intervention on the yes side is worth thousands of votes for the no side, the boot appears to be sur l’autre pied.

According to AFP
“Poland's deputy parliamentary speaker and opposition chief Donald Tusk on Thursday called on French voters to reject the European Union constitution "for the good of Europe" in a referendum next month.”
Galling, n’est ce pas? Those uppity East Europeans are now lecturing la peuple Française on its duty to Europe.

Oddly enough, Mr Tusk’s party, Citizens’ Platform, favours greater European integration and Poland’s involvement in the European Union. It does not like the Constitution, which seems a little audacious, it being a French inspired document and all. (Not that the French see it that way, which must be extra galling to M Giscard d’Estaing.)

Tusk added:
“I say France should reject the constitution because I know that this will happen sooner or later, maybe in the Czech Republic, Poland or in the United Kingdom. And in this context it would be better for Europe if France took this responsibility upon itself.”
What a very peculiar idea, France taking any kind of responsibility upon itself.

Other Polish politicians came up with different comments. Minister for European Affairs, Jaroslaw Pietras looked forward to possible repercussions in Poland:
“If France votes 'no', there will be no point in organising a referendum in Poland. If that does happen (the no-vote), we should wait for an EU summit to decide what to do with the ratification process.”
That sounds slightly wrong, by the way. Will it really be an EU summit that will make the decision? Not the European Council or, alternatively, another IGC?

Then again, lower house speaker Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, said after talking with Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek:
“The rejection of the EU constitution in France would be a failure for Europe and would bear consequences affecting countries including Poland. We have been following the situation in France with great interest. I do not want to be pessimistic but reports coming from France are not good.”
Huh, said Mr Tusk. It would serve those Frenchy politicos right.
“The French, who are constantly preaching to Europe and Poland, are probably going to create the biggest clanger in the European integration process.”
At present opinion polls indicate an overwhelming majority for the Constitution in Poland but the chances are that few if any people in that country have any idea what is in it. Then again, there have been many constitutions in Polish history, many of their own making but many others not. One more, one less may not appear to be catastrophic to them.

But what do the French think of this sort of insolence? Another good opportunity for silence missed?

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