Monday, July 11, 2005

You cannot choose but to lose control

What a terrible thing it is to lose one's mind, or to not have a mind at all: A BBC roundup of various European press opinions on Luxembourg voting yes to the EU Constitution over the weekend. Germany's Frankfurter Rundschau says those who declared the constitution dead after the French and Dutch "no" votes have been proved wrong. "Although the European Constitutional Treaty has not been saved yet by Luxembourg's 'yes' it has been granted a breathing space and a new chance," the paper says. [...] Germany's Berliner Zeitung emphasizes the "symbolic value" of the result. The paper suggests that the Luxembourg vote may signal a shift in Europe's mood, which may enable Denmark, Poland, Ireland and "even Britain" to put their referendums back on the agenda. "Apparently the French and the Dutch 'no', which some regarded as the beginning of the end of the EU, was a snapshot of the situation rather than the last word," it says. [...] The Madrid daily El Pais agrees the constitution's future is still, as it puts it, "extremely uncertain". With Luxembourg a great beneficiary of integration - home to key institutions and enjoying the EU's highest per capita income - it is surprising as many as 40 per cent voted against the treaty, it says. I understand the contempt many of the EU's political elites feel for their supposed constituents, and the prevailing feeling that some things are just too important to be left to those horrid ignoramuses of the public in a free vote, Claiming some kind of victory over Luxembourg, after France and the Netherlands rejected it? 2500 square kilometres and less than 500,000 people? 55% disapproval from one of the largest EU members is balanced by 55% approval from one of the smallest? I suppose some democracy is felt to be acceptable by sneering EUrocrats, so long as it's exercised by a sufficiently small number of the Goodthinkful, as an example to the rest of us dullards.


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