29 May 2005 If I Were French I Wouldn’t Ratify It Either
From an essay by Timothy Garton Ash in the May 30 Guardian:
For the French to say no to Europe is like the English saying no to beef or the Russians saying no to vodka. Or perhaps like the heart saying no to the body. Yesterday the French did not just say no to a particular, cumbersome constitutional treaty, despite the fact that its main architect was a Frenchman. They said no to what the EU has become since the fall of the Berlin Wall. No to a much-enlarged EU where France is no longer in the driving seat. No to the prospect of Turkish membership. No to Anglo-Saxon-style economic reform: deregulation, free-market liberalism, Thatcherism imported via Brussels. And, of course, no to lupine Jacques Chirac, and the Parisian governments and elites they feel have failed them…
If I were French, I wouldn’t have ratified it either — though not to avoid “Thatcherism.” Thatcherism works, but the EU is doomed to failure.