The 55 percent of France who rejected the European Union talks about Chirac’s worries, France’s role in a united Europe, and McDonald’s in Paris.
So, how about that European Union?
When you voted against ratifying the EU constitution, Ex-EU president Romano Prodi declared the outcome a “disaster” and predicted it “the end of Europe.” Is this the end of Europe or the end of Europe’s neo-liberal facade?
There’s a lot of speculation about your “no” vote. Many say it’s economic. The vote was led by French farmers and the unemployed. But there are whispers that an underlying racism was at play, that many French are concerned about Turkey (and its primarily Muslim population) having ambitions towards the EU. What do you think about these accusations?
No what? No towards Turkey, or no towards accusations of xenophobia?
Um … OK. So this puts Prime Minister Chirac in a pretty tight spot – the French “no” vote is really a no-confidence vote towards Chirac and his government. Do you think his plans to restructure his cabinet in response to the “no” vote will help him politically?
So he’s screwed.
How about if he just stepped in and dealt with France’s unemployment problem?
Even though your “no” vote essentially marks the demise of this rendering of the constitution, there are other countries leaning away from the current constitution, such as the Dutch and even England. Do you feel you’ve set a precedent?
Even though Dutch Prime Minister Peter Balkenade made a point of saying, “The Dutch, of course, do not take any orders from the French.”
Your “no” vote has had a pretty devastating effect on the Euro. It’s dropped 10 cents against the dollar in just six months and has definitely trembled since Sunday. Many analysts speculate that this very vocal distrust of the idea of a united Europe could damage the Euro down the road. Did you consider this when you cast your vote?
Do you think this rebuff reveals what many feel is a major gap between the idealized European self-image – propagated by politicians such as Chirac, ex EU-president Romano Prodi and English Prime minister Tony Blair – and the populace?
So, perhaps the European image of culturally leading the world is just a big sham?
OK. Let’s talk about some other times the French said no to things recently. Nazi occupation? Still happened. U.S. invasion of Iraq? Still happened. McDonald’s and Disney in Paris? Still there. Religion? Going strong. Are you worried that again here, France’s “no” will fall on deaf ears? Do you plan on keeping with this tradition of principled no’s despite their ultimately ineffectual results?
Do you have thoughts you’d like to end with?
You are very overweight and poorly dressed. (Laughs)