Enjoy the veto, France!

Discussion in 'Europe' started by jimnyc, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I hope the proposal gets vetoed before anyone even bothers to read it.

    Britain threatens veto on EU

    Britain is ready to veto proposals for a new constitution for the European Union rather than give up vital national powers over defence, foreign policy and taxation.

    The tougher stance was signalled by the Government last night after talks at Lancaster House between Tony Blair and President Jacques Chirac of France failed to resolve deep differences over the proposed European defence capability.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...ltop.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=27513
     
  2. IzeWideOpen
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    Yes i hope we do as well. Hay somethig me and u both agree on. Well i wouldnt want 2 b part of this new EU thing but then again i wouldnt want 2 b the 51st state either
     
  3. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    poor poor Puerto Rico!
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The French are not our friend: http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,8052538^1702,00.html

    And speaking of French hegemony:

    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=68&art_id=qw1070371441872B222&set_id=1

    Unlike the French, I do not think that their problems should be cause of our joy:

    'All that is French will be attacked'

    Abidjan - Waving knives and machetes, pro-government mobs extended their siege of France's main military base in Ivory Coast for a second day on Tuesday - demanding that French peacekeepers withdraw from the former French colony to allow government forces to resume attacks on rebels.

    Hundreds of demonstrators - better armed on Tuesday, after carrying only rocks and planks on Monday - lit bonfires in the streets and heaved stones over barracks walls bristling with concertina wire.

    For a second day, French soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd, which started gathering on Monday at the base in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan.

    Pro-government militias also delivered an ultimatum on Tuesday to the French: French peacekeepers had until 8pm on Tuesday to withdraw from the West African nation's ceasefire lines.

    If not, militia leaders and youth groups said, their fighters would open attacks on the estimated 16 000 French civilians and 4 000 French troops living in Ivory Coast.

    "All that is French will be attacked," pledged Narcisse N'Depo, a youth leader outside the French military base.

    French diplomats refused immediate comment on the threat, and it was unclear how big a following the militias had, to carry out the ultimatum.

    Tensions come with a nine-month civil war here officially over, since July. However, a power-sharing and peace deal between rebels and government has stalled for months, and Ivory Coast remains split between rebel-held north and government-held south.

    Government-allied militias, youth groups and many in the armed forces themselves increasingly are demanding that French peacekeepers, joined by about 1 000 West African troops, get out of the way to allow fighting to resume.

    West African leaders say renewed war here would destabilize the region as surrounding nations try to pull out of civil wars of their own.

    In an interview published on Tuesday in France's Le Figaro daily, President Laurent Gbagbo said of his supporters, "I can understand why they are fed up."

    "The problem is that the French are between them and the rebels and they want to finish with the war," Gbagbo told Le Figaro.

    However, Gbagbo said of the French peacekeeping force: "I am the one who asked the Licorne troops to be here and I have not changed my mind." - Sapa-AP



    Published on the Web by IOL on 2003-12-02 15:24:02
     
  5. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    once again , when france gets its tit in the wringer, who are they going to call?
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    While the French aren't the only ones, they certainly are the loudest and most self-righteous:

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/12/11/1071125590773.html

    Europe's pious hypocrisy should be exposed for what it is
    By Max Boot
    December 12, 2003

    America is condemned for acting unilaterally, but it's hardly the only nation to do so.

    I write today in defence of unilateralism. I know there are many who will want to pillory any country that refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol, that breaks fundamental economic accords and that sends its troops to fight Muslims abroad without United Nations authorisation. To them I say: give the Europeans a break. They have good reasons for doing what they're doing.

    Europeans? No, that's not a misprint. The Bush Administration gets all the grief for its supposed unilateralism, but the actions in question have all been taken by European governments.

    Russia signalled last week that it might not ratify the Kyoto accord on global warming. The week before, France and Germany abrogated the Stability and Growth Pact, which requires all euro-zone members to keep their budget deficits under 3 per cent of gross domestic product. And French troops in the Ivory Coast are still struggling to impose some stability in that country, where they arrived in September 2002 without benefit of a UN resolution. Last week riots broke out around France's main military base in the port city of Abidjan.

    As these events transpired, I couldn't help remembering how many times I - as an American commentator - have been lectured by self-righteous Europeans in the past year.

    Europe, they claim, is governed by the rule of law, whereas the United States lives by the law of the jungle. Europe is multilateral, the US unilateral. Europe good, United States bad.

    A nice conceit, that. Too bad European governments are so keen to disprove it.

    It would be easy to make fun of these pious hypocrites who preach the rule of reason but practise raison d'etat. And frankly it's a temptation that I find impossible to pass up.

    But the European actions also raise a serious point that knee-jerk multilateralists of whatever nationality would do well to ponder: not everything sanctified by the "international community" is good, and not everything done by a lone nation or an ad hoc coalition is bad.


    Multilateralism is not always the answer. These questions should be examined case by case.

    Take the Kyoto Protocol. Is Russia considering bailing out simply because it hates all treaties? That was the charge made against the Bush Administration after it renounced Kyoto, but in fact the Russian objections, as laid out last week by President Vladimir Putin's top economic adviser, are remarkably similar to the American ones.

    Moscow, like Washington, fears that draconian emissions restrictions will stunt economic growth while doing little for the environment because mega-polluters, such as India and China, are exempt from the limits. Though other European states have ratified Kyoto, most are not meeting its targets.

    Then there's Europe's much-ballyhooed Stability and Growth Pact, originally created at the instigation of France and Germany, which wanted to impose fiscal discipline on countries adopting the euro.

    It called for keeping budget deficits below 3 per cent of GDP - a figure both France and Germany have exceeded for three years running.

    The US was caught in a similar violation of economic rules recently when the World Trade Organisation ruled that its steel tariffs were illegal. President George Bush, the supposed foe of international law, is meekly complying with the WTO decision by lifting the tariffs rather than face retaliation.

    France and Germany, by contrast, are not bringing their budget deficits below the red line. Instead, they have brazenly forced the European Union to suspend the substantial sanctions that should have been imposed on them for breaking the stability pact.

    That's not such a bad thing, however. Artificial deficit caps can impede economic growth by forcing a country to cut spending or raise taxes during an economic downturn. Allowing an occasional surge in the deficit can lead to much-needed Keynesian stimulation of the economy, as both Ronald Reagan and George Bush jnr have shown.

    Finally, we come to the Ivory Coast, where a rebellion broke out in September 2002 against the dictatorial government of Laurent Gbagbo. The subsequent fighting killed thousands and split the country in two, with Muslim rebels holding the north.

    To prevent even worse violence and to protect French expatriates, France sent troops and then negotiated a power-sharing agreement between the Government and rebels. Only five months after its troops arrived did France seek and get UN ratification - exactly the strategy the US has pursued in Iraq.

    Now 4000 French and 1200 West African soldiers are enforcing the ceasefire agreement. In other words, the force is 80 per cent French. Roughly the same percentage of foreign troops in Iraq are American, which must mean that the Ivory Coast intervention is just as "unilateral" as the one in Iraq.

    But so what? The French are performing a valuable service, just as the Americans are in Iraq. They should be thanked for stepping forward, not criticised for not getting more nations to sign up.

    The point isn't that unilateralism is always good. Often, as in the case of Bush's steel tariffs, which hurt US consumers, it's stupid.

    Nor is multilateralism always the answer. It depends on the circumstances. These questions should be examined case by case.

    Sounds logical, right? Unfortunately that sensible approach is derided by most Europeans - except, of course, when their own governments are doing it.
     

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