20050104

Red blogule to France - Papy blues

France, Europe and the World - papy blues ?
France will hold a referendum on the EU constitution this year. A "no" sure would make the news, but is there any way the country could get an identity back ?
Jacques Chirac has a knack for finding ways of putting his country back on the map, and the resistance to the American domination seems an inspirational source - from nuclear explosions in the Pacific Ocean (the rationale : some coral crushing is the price to pay in order not to depend on the US for some sensitive data crunching) to more glamourous fights (in favor of the "cultural diversity", against the Bush mob about Iraq).
Now it's time to define France and Europe a more subtle way. Both shouldn't exist simply as a negative or counterbalancing force to such superpowers as the US or China.
Up to now, the French have somehow succeeded in being instrumental in the creation and development of the European Union. This influence is now over, even if former president Giscard d'Estaing led the EU Constitution project in 2004. Even the golden seat at the UN (veto power can deter as efficiently as nukes) may soon become history.
So France welcomes this referendum as the main event of the year to come. A proof of its very existence. Discovering with stupor what it means to become Europe's "Belle Province" - a proud, scenic and original spot without much influence on its environment nor its own destiny.

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