Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Post-Democracy the Sarko way

The Tin-Pot dictator that is Sarkozy has let his guard down in an off the record briefing in Paris.

Bruno Waterfield has the details, proving the astonishing fact that excluding a journalist from a briefing doesn't mean that the journalist won't get to hear what is being said,

The French strategy during their six month EU Presidency, which began on July 1, is to isolate Ireland after last month's referendum rejection of the Lisbon European Union Treaty.

With the Irish people in quarantine, the other 26 EU countries will press ahead with ratifying the Treaty - 19 have done so. Mr Sarkozy made it very clear that there would be no renegotiation of a Treaty that was Part II of the EU Constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters three years ago.

"There will be no Treaty Part III," he said.

The Irish do not count.

France, along with the rest of the EU is looking for "escape hatch". "We need a soft landing in October," said Mr Sarkozy, when there will be EU summit in Brussels to find way forward by the time of European elections on June 4.

The Irish either will be asked to vote again, in a rerun of Ireland's second referendum on the Nice Treaty in 2002 - or Ireland's people will be bypassed.

If the perspective of a second vote in Ireland has been raised it is because it has happened before," said Mr Sarkozy.

"We need some kind of vote to get out of the situation - Parliament or referendum I don't know. But when democratic society says ‘no', you need some kind of democratic solution."

Any means necessary to get an Irish Yes, is what the French President is getting at here. There is no other answer.

But the Poles and Czechs are flies in Mr Sarkozy's ointment, with both uppity new East European countries threatening to delay or block a Treaty that requires all 27 EU member states to ratify it before it enters into force.

Mr Sarkozy made it clear he was deeply unimpressed with Polish President Lech Kaczynski's refusal to sign off a "pointless" Treaty after it had been ratified in his country's parliament.

"The Polish President has never been an easy partner to work with on building and shaping a stronger Europe," he said. "I can't imagine how the President can go against the will of the parliament. It's odd."

Mr Sarkozy warned the new member states that France would block any further EU enlargement unless Warsaw and Prague knuckle under and do what they are told.
"I will fight to ensure that EU membership does not exceed 27," he said.

The French President warned the Czechs that they would pay a price if Prague continues to grumble about ratifying the Treaty.

"Our Czech friends will have the EU Presidency on Jan 1 it is very difficult to see them blocking a solution," he said. "If the Czechs dig in their heels they will start their presidency in great isolation."

Always good to see those democratic credentials spilling out isn't it?

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