Thursday, September 16, 2004

The constitution and the 35-hour week.

The beauty of Le Monde Économie is that it's possible to download the whole thing as a PDF file. 14 Sep 2004

Chirac, Schröder and Zapatero met Monday (13 Sep). There was the obvious photo-opportunity for the anti-Iraq (war, occupation ?) trio (Update: they're still dragging their feet about training for the Iraqi security forces, as agreed at the UN. Anything rather than give Bush a present before the election), but the media also focused on the contrast between Chirac's socialist counterparts' enthousiasm for the proposed EU constitution (especially Zapatero's) and the division among the French socialists.

Laurent Fabius is leading the 'no' camp, amidst accusations of opportunism

France Inter has had a lot on this. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a week or so ago, said the choice was between what is now proposed (treaty of Brussels II ? - the first was in 1965) and the current arrangements (treaty of Nice), not between Brussels II and some imaginary treaty.

Francois Hollande today (16 Sep) stressed the need to work with other socialists in Europe - Blair, Zapatero. Europe is the only defence against liberalisme (global capital) and the American hyperpower. Like defending the 35-hour week. If the PS rejects the constitution, it is likely the referendum on it will also be lost and hence the constitution. [It could go ahead if Britain rejects it, but not if France does, apparently.] So, the future of the whole world depends on the decision of the PS activists (militants). Far too important for it to be a matter of personalities, of course.

In reply to a listener's question (the UK has gained more influence by always saying 'no') : the people who would be most pleased by a 'no' are President Bush and the leader of the British government.

Everybody is waiting for Lionel Jospin to speak. He is expected to give an unenthousiastic 'yes'.

Some googling to check this out. The last 2 are big PDF files, giving contrasting views.

Oui à la Constitution

CONSTRUIRE L’EUROPE POLITIQUE - 50 propositions pour l’Europe de demain

The Essential Guide to the European Union - RUTH LEA - CENTRE FOR POLICY STUDIES - 2004


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