February 17, 2003


Chirac blasts eastern Europeans over pro-American stance, warns on EU membership (Paul Ames, February 17, 2003, Associated Press)
French President Jacques Chirac launched a withering attack Monday on eastern European nations who signed letters backing the U.S. position on Iraq, warning itcould jeopardize their chances of joining the European Union.

"It is not really responsible behavior," he told a news conference. "It is not well brought up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet."

Chirac was angered when EU candidates Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined pro-U.S. EU members such as Britain, Spain and Italy last month in a letter supporting Washington's line on Iraq against the more dovish stance of France and Germany.

Paris was further upset when 10 other eastern European nations signed a similar letter a few days later.

France argued that the moves aggravated splits in the 15-nation EU and backed the ideas put forward by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld who had earlier spoke of France and Germany as "old Europe" in contrast to the easterners seeking to join the EU and NATO.

"Concerning the candidate countries, honestly I felt they acted frivolously because entry into the European Union implies a minimum of understanding for the others," Chirac told reporters after an emergency EU summit on Iraq.

He warned the candidates the position could be "dangerous" because the parliaments of the 15 EU nations still have to ratify last December's decision for 10 new members to join the bloc on May 1, 2004.

Chirac particularly warned Romania and Bulgaria, who are still negotiating to enter the bloc in 2007.

"Romania and Bulgaria were particularly irresponsible to (sign the letter) when their position is really delicate," Chirac said. "If they wanted to diminish their chances of joining Europe they could not have found a better way."

Supposedly Mr. Chirac left a rabbit boiling on the stove in the Bulgarian embassy and spraypainted "I will not be ignored!" on the sidewalk in front of the Romanian. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 17, 2003 10:36 PM

Chirac is just too too perfect.

Following the script with just the right amount of audacity and charm.

Now's the time to lay off the criticism of France and let her wallow in her own self-directed ire and shame.

Lay off her, I say. As it's the only way she'll be able to uncircle those wagons and get to the bottom of the extent of her absurdity. Or perfidy. What have you.

No more French jokes. No more French criticism. No more attention to her. She matters not.

And perhaps at that point, she'll start to come apart at the seams. And maybe she'll be able to get her own house in order, as it were.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 18, 2003 3:01 AM

IMHO it is Chirac who has missed quite a lot of opportunities to keep quiet. This deranged crook, elected because the alternative was a fascist deranged crook, actively works to arm Saddam to the teeth. He is all in favor of regime change, in Washington. And now he has started threatening Eastern European countries in the same fashion as Stalin, Kruschev and Brezhnev once did. Disgusting.

Posted by: Peter at February 18, 2003 3:12 AM