Tuesday, May 31, 2005
"We are no longer in control, we are no longer in charge. The moment it [Europe] is no longer as French, it appears Anglo-Saxon in its economic context and they [the French] don't like that. The French are equating Europeanisation with globalisation and delocalisation [outsourcing of jobs]. For those who vote no, Europe is no longer the pursuit of France through other means."So says Dominique Moisi, a senior analyst at the French International Relations Institute.
The Bad Hair Blog has a round-up of news and views. And, courtesy of Cafe Babel, an interesting timeline of how the "yes" vote collapsed over time from 69 per cent to 45 per cent.
Then there is that famous map (hat tip: Tim Blair) that is creating much comment. Unlike the 2004 election red-blue state or county map of the United States, the French map doesn't really tell us much about the local political landscape except to suggest that a few little islands are strongly pro-integration, while most of the France is even further to the left than their elites and now considers the EU to be an Anglo-Saxon free market conspiracy. As you can see, the only major anomaly is Brittany, where the vote was generally "yes", albeit in the low 50s. My guess would be that Brittany is the part of France where local identity is the strongest (it was fiercely Catholic and pro-monarchy and so paid a very heavy price at the hands of the French Revolutionary authorities, which is still remembered more than two centuries later), and most such regions in Europe tend to strongly pro EU, as the Union is seen to be favoring minority groups and local identities over nation states, which in the past have generally tried to suppress political and cultural separatism.