Skip to comments.British move to suspend vote deepens European rift
Posted on 06/03/2005 4:11:53 AM PDT by M. Espinola
BRITAIN is leading moves to shelve the European constitution until EU leaders agree a way forward after the emphatic no vote in France and the Netherlands.
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, is expected to tell MPs on Monday that legislation paving the way for a British referendum will be suspended until there is clarity from EU leaders.
Officials in Brussels fear that suspending the ratification process is tantamount to killing it, and European leaders have demanded that the process continue despite the defeats.
But other countries facing tough referendum battles signalled that they may follow Britains lead, deepening the rifts within the Union.
At Downing Street next week Tony Blair will meet Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister, who is said to be sympathetic to calls for a postponement.
Denmark is due to hold a referendum in September, but a poll last night showed that the yes camps eight-point lead has suddenly turned into a nine-point deficit.
Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, said that the Irish Government would continue to prepare for a referendum, but would be guided by the outcome of the emergency EU summit on June 16.
Giulio Tremonti, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, said that he believed that the constitution was dead.
Even José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, is said to be privately sympathetic to the British position.
You have to be realistic and recognise realities. A pause is very realistic. Barroso understands Blairs position, a Commission source told The Times.
But most member states continue to insist that the treaty be kept alive, and were drawing up their battle lines for June 16.
Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, held an emergency meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and current EU president, yesterday, and will have another with President Chirac of France tomorrow.
I will not give up working for this constitution, for a united Europe, Herr Schröder said in Luxembourg. Mr Juncker said: I remain . . . of the view the ratification process must be able to continue.
While the rest of Europe agonised over the fate of the constitution, Latvia became the tenth member state to adopt it yesterday when its parliament ratified the treaty by an overwhelming majority.
Officially the British Government is saying little. It takes over the EU presidency next month, and does not want to be seen as the country that killed the treaty although it would be delighted to escape a vote it would almost certainly lose.
Mr Blair, who is on holiday in Italy, has yet to comment on the Dutch vote. But Douglas Alexander, the Europe Minister, made the British position clear when he told BBC Radio that the treaty was in serious difficulty but its not for one country to declare it dead. He noted that some countries had said that they intended to continue with ratification, but refused to say that Britain would do the same.
We think it is right to pause and reflect as the Prime Minister has indicated, and Jack Straw will take the opportunity when Parliament returns on Monday to make a statement where it is appropriate for the British Government to make a statement, and that is to the British Parliament, he said.
Mr Blairs allies were out in force yesterday, making clear that they believed the treaty had no future.
Lord Kinnock, the former EU commissioner, said that it would be a pantomime to carry on the ratification process as if nothing had happened. Its dead and the idea you can have a pantomime lasting over a year is absurd.
Stephen Byers, the former Transport Secretary and a confidant of Mr Blairs, said that he was astonished that some European leaders were acting as if nothing had happened. What part of no dont they understand? he said.
There is some nervousness in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that Mr Straws statement on Monday suspending ratification will be seen as provocative, pre-empting the June 16th summit.
British officials yesterday played down the chances of the summit achieving a breakthrough, given the polarised nature of opinions across Europe.
They are determined that the problems with the treaty will not dominate the EU Presidency, which Mr Blair has made clear he wants to focus on economic reform.
Yesterday, Britain lined up with eight other EU member states to save the UKs opt-out from Europes 48-hour working week.
Alan Johnson, the Trade and Industry Secretary, and fellow employment ministers from the eight countries used a so-called blocking minority vote to reject European Commission plans that could have ended the opt-out.
all photos added
That's up to the politics as in order to get Mrs. Clinton back into the White House the economy here must crash.
"with the Euro heading south, the USD, The Pound, the Yen, the Aussie plus some secondary currencies should be the way to go on the bullish side."
I'm spot, not futures market. I want volatility LOL. Don't care, just have a couple of long-term positions on Cable and Euro [short].
For next positions keeping eye on Swissie and Kiwi [New Zealand Dollar] guessing long for both.
The reason I say this look at how Chirac turfed out Jean-Pierre Raffarin and has appointed Dominique de Villepin as Prime Minister. De Villepin is a very pro-E.U., a never elected to any office, technocrat.
This little piece from Wednesday's Turkish newspaper,'Zaman' on de Villepin:
"Coming from a blue blood family the new French Prime Minister was born in Morocco and raised in Caracas. He completed his education at a school for the state elite. As a loyal politician to Chirac, de Villepin is known as someone who entertains the notion of Turkey's accession to the Union."
I have seen Dominique de Villepin interviewed. The last time was on the PBS Charlie Rose Show during this last winter. He's a well spoken brilliant French politician, but not someone who has the best interests of America, as was clearly demonstrated over Saddam affair.
I will not be able to handle the battle ax...oy, just the thought!
You are correct, volatility is wonderful in the currency markets and in commodities in general. If one is on the ride up and has put positions for the ride down, The more volatility the better! Of course trending in the right direction-lol/
Palladium had a nice little run up in the late summer of 2004, but since then it's been rather boring, stuck in a sideways mode, right under $200ish an oz.
I was thinking about the Kiwi right along with the Aussie, but as of late she has some bearish indications. In fact the 10 year chart below almost looks like that Palladium chart. The Kiwi has had one incredible bull run. A little more time may be required in terms of the Euro in relation to the Down Under currencies.
Once your in the link check out the Kiwi's current month and the Swiss Franc which is also in an overall downtrend, right now, but that's why we like volatility :)
It appears that he couldn't even if he wanted to, since the German constitution (largely the creation of the allies after WWII) explicitly forbids referendums. I believe there was some discussion of amending their constitution to change this, but I don't know how difficult that would have been - as difficult as changing any constitution, presumably.
The German constitution forbids referendums because of the way they were misused by the Nazis to consolidate power.
Chirac's and Schroeder's political careers are over. Schroeder will lose, rather handily, when he stands for re-election as Chancellor of Germany later this year, and Chirac just saw his chances for a third term as President of France go up in smoke (the next presidential election in France will be in May of 2007). I should add that Chirac also just saw his dream job of President of the European Union vanish, his one opportunity to stand toe-to-toe with the President of the United States. Sorry Jacque, sit down and shut up, you arrogant bonehead idiot.
Andc it is important to remember that Spain oves much of its current prosperity on having been the welfare queen of the EU, receiving huge subsidies from the wealthier EU nations.
Well, there should be at least a decent sized lamppost reserved for Mona Sahlin.
We the people of the United States...
with the start of the EU Constitution:
His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the Czech Republic, Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the Republic of Estonia, the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Majesty the King of Spain, the President of the French Republic, the President of Ireland, the President of the Italian Republic, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the President of the Republic of Latvia, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Parliament of the Republic of Hungary, the President of Malta, Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, the President of the Republic of Poland, the President of the Portuguese Republic, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, the President of the Slovak Republic, the President of the Republic of Finland, the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden, Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland,
Not only is the EU Constitution much wordier (the entire US preamble is 52 words which only gets to the President of France in the EU preamble), it shows the European ideal that power comes from the rulers instead of the people.
Or the EU cookie crumbling. Have a peek here to see that Italy wants the Lira back.
Somehow the pinkos will dream up a way to fault Bush for the break up of the E.U., and the upcoming hurricane season as well!
Neither Chirac nor Schroeder are now displaying the haughty, pompous & disdainful way they treated Washington prior and during Saddam's ouster from power. Now they have mega-problems of their own.
I've posted elsewhere on the comparison between the beautiful simplicity of the US constitution and indeed the Declaration of Independence, where the intentions of the writers are conveyed in elegant and totally comprehensible paragrahs and the unintelligible gobbledygook stretching out for almost a thousand pages of the EU constitution.
However what I enjoy about the preamble which you post is the variety of the forms of government. For example, the Latvians are represented by the president of their republic whereas the Spanish are represented by their king, all well and fine. We don't point out that the Luxemburgers only get represented by a grand duke; that would be bad manners but what to make of the Hungarians? They have neither president nor royal bigwig, indeed they don't have a personal representative at all but a parliament and the Swede's aren't represented by their king but by their king's government, confused yet? What to make of the fact that Belgium doesn't have a king but the Belgians do. And we really don't want to point out that the lady with the longest title "Her Majesty the Queen..." appears to be claiming ownership of a sizable chunk of the President of Ireland's jurisdiction, best to quit when you're ahead I think.
I agree, and further I believe that if they try to bash America in order to ingratiate themselves with their voters that it will backfire big time. I have a friend in Munich whom told me that the German people are sick and tired of Schroeder's rhetoric, they want him to focus on the economy and jobs, considering their unemployment rate is 12%. I also read that Chirac's approval rating is now the lowest of his presidency, and that 74% of the French people don't trust him, hardly a ringing endorsement.
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