June 16, 2005


Europe turns on France as Britain wins new allies (Philip Webster and Anthony Browne, 6/17/05, Times of London)

JACQUES CHIRAC suffered a double blow as the EU summit opened last night when he was forced to admit defeat over the European constitution, and Tony Blair won powerful allies for his campaign to cut French agricultural subsidies.

Mr Blair feared isolation in his battle over Britain’s £3 billion rebate unless there was a thorough overhaul of EU farm spending as well.

But Dutch and Swedish leaders backed the Prime Minister’s call for the £600 billion budget to be reduced, and Mr Blair received a surprise incentive to stall in negotiations when the conservative politician expected to be Germany’s next leader told France to cut back its agricultural subsidies.

Angela Merkel, favourite to replace Gerhard Schröder in September, said that it was unreasonable to expect Britain to surrender its rebate if France would not cut farm subsidies.

As one of the most momentous summits in years opened in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to put the constitutional treaty rejected by France and the Netherlands into deep freeze.

It runs deep in the German blood, the compulsion to smack down the French...

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2005 10:54 PM

After they widened their boulevards and planted all those trees, too.

Posted by: Sandy P. at June 17, 2005 12:58 AM

1860, 1914, 1940...

Next time, can they finish the job?

Posted by: at June 17, 2005 2:04 AM

It's nice that the leader of the German CDU-CSU coalition wants to see French farm subsidies reduced. Will she support seeing the same reduction for Bavarian farmers and would her CSU colleagues agree to that?

Posted by: bart at June 17, 2005 5:30 AM

"The weasel is not a social animal. Whenever large groups gather, conflict inevitably follows."

--Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Episode #434, "The European Union"

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 17, 2005 7:44 AM

Fine. Then a) replace France on the UN Security council with India or Japan, b) enter into free trade agreements with Britain, Turkey, others to reduce the importance of the EU (which is how France gets it's power) and c) begin to plan for the securing of French nukes as France spirals downward.

Posted by: AWW at June 17, 2005 7:59 AM


"Marge, don't discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals!... except the weasels."

Homer Simpson

Posted by: Rick T. at June 17, 2005 9:39 AM