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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #1
DjaugheOld
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EU Treay may fall apart based on French vote...


Wow I was actually worried what a united europe could do...but leave it to the french to muddy things up. I'm also surprised at Chiracs 39% approval rating...

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France May Reject EU Treaty, Threatening Integration, Euro
May 27 (Bloomberg) -- French voters may reject the European Union constitution in a national referendum on May 29, the first veto of an EU treaty by an EU founding member, threatening to derail integration of the 25-nation bloc and weaken the euro.

Six polls this week showed a majority plan to reject the treaty, a protest vote against President Jacques Chirac, whose popularity sank to an eight-year low last week amid concerns over mounting unemployment and possible budget cuts. Opposition stood at 55 percent, according to a survey by Paris-based Ipsos SA, the world's third-biggest polling company, published yesterday. No margin of error was given.

``A `no' throws European integration into question,'' said Philip Gordon, director of the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe in Washington, in an interview. ``The EU is undermined not only as rival to the U.S., but also as a potential partner as it inevitably focuses inward.''

The euro fell to a seven-month low against the dollar yesterday and the Turkish lira has weakened 8 percent since March 1 on concern the French will reject the treaty. A ``no'' vote would kill the constitution and may cast doubt on closer ties with members of the bloc that have not adopted the euro. It may also set back plans by countries including Turkey and Croatia to join.

Dutch `No'

The European Union comprises about 450 million people, compared with the U.S.'s 293 million. Its gross domestic product of 10.2 trillion euros ($12.8 trillion) in 2004 exceeded the U.S.'s $11.7 trillion.

A May 20 poll in the Netherlands showed Dutch voters may follow the French and reject the treaty in a June 1 vote.

``With stories showing a no-vote is looking more and more likely, then this brings a lot of uncertainty and weighs on the euro,'' said Bilal Hafeez, head of currency strategy in London at Deutsche Bank AG, the world's biggest currency trader.

In a Merrill Lynch & Co. survey released May 17, 71 percent of European fund managers said a ``no'' would weaken the euro.

The 448-article constitution was designed to make decision- making easier among 25 countries after the bloc's expansion last year. Signed by EU leaders in Rome in October after 2 1/2 years of talks led by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, it creates the post of EU president and foreign minister, and boosts the power of the European Parliament.

`Taken Hostage'

``Voters want to strike out at very unpopular national governments and unfortunately the European constitution has been taken hostage,'' John Palmer, political director of the European Policy Centre in Brussels, said in a May 25 interview.

A German government led by the Christian Democratic Party, which won elections in the country's most populous state May 22, would urge the EU to suspend plans to admit Romania and Bulgaria should French voters oppose the treaty, Peter Hintze, the party's European affairs spokesman, said in a May 25 interview.

A rejection in France ``would be a catastrophe for France, for Chirac and for the whole world,'' Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told Belgium's Le Soir newspaper May 25.

The EU started life in 1952 when six nations agreed to pool their coal and steel production following a proposal by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman. The idea of economic union was conceived by another French man, Jean Monnet, to heal the wounds of World War II and prevent another European war.

``France is not one of the European states, it is the European state, the driving force for the whole integration,'' Polish Foreign Minister Adam Daniel Rotfeld said in a May 24 interview. Poland is one of the 10 countries that joined the EU on May 1 last year.

Blow for Chirac

Nine countries have so far approved the treaty, mostly by parliamentary vote. Spain is the only country to have held a referendum so far, with 77 percent voting ``yes.'' Germany's upper house of parliament will today vote on approving the treaty after the lower house backed it on May 12.

A rebuff in France would mark the third setback at the hands of voters for Chirac, 72, in the past 14 months, amid frustration over mounting unemployment and concerns over government spending cuts. It may snuff out the chance of a re-election bid in 2007, ending a political career that began under Charles De Gaulle more than four decades ago.

In a televised appeal to voters late yesterday, Chirac said a ``united'' EU is necessary to face ``economic competition with other big powers.'' Rejection would reduce Europe to ``a simple free-trade zone,'' he said.

A ``no'' vote may also force the exit of Prime Minister Jean- Pierre Raffarin. Lawmakers from his own party including Christine Boutin said May 24 they expect Chirac to replace him after the vote. Contenders include Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy, the head of Chirac's party.

Chirac's approval rating fell to 39 percent this month, the lowest since April 1997, according to a survey of 1,014 French people conducted from May 16 to 18 for L'Express magazine. No margin of error was given. Raffarin's popularity fell to 21 percent from 28 percent in April, BVA said.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #2
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I thought it would be lower. He is the biggest buffoon I ever saw in terms of world leaders. Hussein was more competant. The EU will fold too much hate in it.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by swd1974
....The EU will fold too much hate in it.
lol...if the french (original architects) back out the euro will drop to about the same value as the old iraqi currency (the one with saddams pic).
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Old May 27th, 2005, 03:57 AM   #4
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It is refreshing to see that it is posible for a bad idea to be reversed. Now maybe NAFTA can be rejected.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 05:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djaughe
lol...if the french (original architects) back out the euro will drop to about the same value as the old iraqi currency (the one with saddams pic).

Very valid point. My in laws family live in europe. it was a huge conversion between countries currency and the euro. How would they reissue currency and will the people get bambuzzled. Meaning say in germany they gave 3 marks for 1 euro. Will they get that 3 marks back or would it be 1 to 1? That could have huge consequences for the people there, especially since germany with its heavy socialist policies is near a depression as it is.
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