Thursday, October 06, 2005

European values

More from a Tory on Turkey: Oliver Letwin, on the BBC (Broadcasting House, 2 Oct ), speaking against the idea that the 'Christian identity' of Europe might be threatened: 'I am a Jew. There are Muslim, Hindu communities and so on in this country'. So, the 'anglo-saxon' position (Britain, with the backing of the US) is quite solid. Things are more complicated in France, for example.

Chirac (*) put it quite well: 'In the name of what, in the name of which humanist, European tradition, could we say to people who say to us "we want to have the same values as you" that, well, we don't want you.' (Le Figaro, 5 Oct).

So, what of the decision on 3 Oct to carry on with talks for Turkish entry into the EU? A historic date perhaps, but I don't see how the French are ever going to vote to allow them in in the referendum which Chirac proposed back in May, a promise he has now repeated.

Where Villepin is sticking doggedly to the Chirac position in favour of Turkey, Sarkozy, no doubt for 'populist' reasons, is opposed to its accession. It is argued that this is a project of the political elite, that is (again) not listening to the public.

On the other hand, Giscard d'Estaing, who accused Chirac of 'not taking into account French public opinion', opposes Turkish entry because it makes more distant that equally 'elitist' project, that of a closely integrated Europe (a federal Europe or a European super-state, depending on your view).

(*) Because of his medical condition, Chirac is advised to avoid air travel and is confined to France for the time being.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:33 pm, October 06, 2005  
Blogger DavidP said...

I'm sorry, this still fails the Turing test.

3:20 pm, October 06, 2005  

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