The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

5.26.2005

France the buttcrack of Europe?

okay, so that's (probably) not what Chirac meant by "caboose" (see Mad Minerva for details)

but with France about to reject the EU constitution, the prospects of the European project look grim. I once said that the EU wouldn't last 5 years. Well, I wasn't too far off (about 5 years in either direction, depending on how you look at it).

Yahoo! also trumpets what on the face is a rather hilarious headline: "Constitution foes fear for France's soul". Now this prompted a dozen responses to bubble in my head ("She's dead, Jim," being perhaps one of the first) but the body of the article actually is pretty interesting.

Such are the depths of Francois Vincent's disdain for the new European constitution that he recently uttered words that have not passed the lips of many Frenchmen.

"I would rather be an American than a European," said Vincent, 63, who owns a vegetable stall in one of Paris' open-air markets. "At least Americans love their country."

Like many Frenchmen who plan to vote "no" in this Sunday's referendum, he is worried that the new European constitution will rob France of some vital piece of its national soul.

Nationalism isn't always a bad thing, as the Left would have you believe. It is not tantamount to jingoism. Perhaps even French nationalism (although they are rather exceptional in their desperate need to keep their language "pure" among other things). Of course, some of the opposition, as MM notes with shock and/or amusement, is that the EU isn't socialist enough.

And then there's this, from a supporter confident that Chirac's last minute begging will do the trick:

"The one who speaks last always wins," he said.

I don't know what to say about that: if it is a laughable statement on the speaker's fickleness, or a sad truth about same of society as a whole.

The monstrosity that is the EU constitution deserves nothing more than defeat. Brevity is the sould of wit, and all that, and the 448 articles show it's inelegance and ineptitude. I mean ours has what, 12? And who would have guessed the French would be the ones to strike the decisive blow for Euroskeptics?

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