Sunday, May 29, 2005

France rejects EU constitution

EU: The next week will be insane with everyone trying to cap the fallout from this.

French voters have rejected the proposed EU constitution in Sunday's referendum, according to exit polls. The polls give the "No" side 55% - in line with surveys published in the run-up to the vote. If confirmed, the result will be a blow to President Jacques Chirac and France's two main political parties, which campaigned for a "Yes".
Via AP(confirmed)
French voters rejected the European Union's first constitution Sunday, early government results showed — a stinging repudiation of the ambitious, decades-long effort to further unite the continent. With about 83 percent of the votes counted, the referendum was rejected by 57.26 percent of voters, the Interior Ministry said. The treaty was supported by 42.74 percent, the ministry said. All 25 EU members must ratify the text for it to take effect — and nine already have done so. The Dutch vote Wednesday, with polls showing opposition to the constitution running at about 60 percent. "There is no more constitution," leading opponent Philippe de Villiers said. "It is necessary to reconstruct Europe on other foundations that don't currently exist." De Villiers called on Chirac to submit his resignation — something the French leader had said he would refuse to do — and called for parliament to be dissolved. "Tonight we face a major political crisis," he said.

Instapundit with a blogging recap. There are many ways to look at the fallout from this rejection in terms of the Euro, Turkey, European unity, political ramification in France and elsewhere. But enough of that important stuff, I'm looking at it just for the entertainment value as everyone scrambles what to do next and who takes the most blame. Grab the popcorn and pull up a chair, this is going to be great.

Update#1: That didn't take long. Nicolas Sarkozy is said to be ready to take advantage of this defeat to Chirac sooner than later. Euro drops against the dollar. The Guardian lead editorial whines like a a baby. But the Guardian editorial does make a point that should be taken advantage of by India, China and America.

The value of the euro dipped on foreign exchanges last week in response to signs that the nos were holding their lead. Americans, Chinese and Indians, vying for advantage in an interdependent world, will be able to get their way more easily if Europeans are in disarray.
This would be the perfect time for India and China to expand their standing in the world economy at the expense of Europe. All three powers should probably look into making stronger ties with eastern European countries to undercut western Europe's clout over the east.

More updates: The Sun who is anti-EU takes pleasure in the non vote. Powerline points to an interesting breakdown of Red/Blue voting breakdown in France. Financial Times sees Chirac to save his career going on the defensive which could cause more trouble down the line.

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