Friday, April 30, 2004

Democracy? Non, we're French 

Jacques Chirac doesn't think it's a good idea to let people decide important constitutional issues: "[Chirac] yesterday refused to commit to holding a referendum on the EU's controversial new constitution... saying an option was a joint vote of both the National Assembly and the Senate."

That puts Chirac at odds with one of his predecessors, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who told the media that "It is appropriate to have a referendum... You cannot build Europe against the people. It will not last. If you try to impose something on them, they will refuse one way or another. It is better to check what their will is."

Chirac also commented on the official admission of ten new members to the EU tomorrow: "He stated the move was a 'giant step' which would see Europe asserting itself as 'a first-class economic power' leading to growth and employment.

Memo to Mr Chirac: asserting oneself as a first-class economic power will not lead to growth and employment - good and sensible economic policies will; something that the EU is unfortunately lacking at the moment. I'm also happy that Cyprus and Poland (among others) are now member of the EU, but I'm not sure how that's necessarily going to turn Europe into a first-class economic superpower.

Unless the rest of the EU decides to adopt Easter Europe's business- and growth-friendly, low tax policies. But I won't be holding my breath.


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