by Jerome a Paris
Mon Jun 20th, 2005 at 01:40:26 AM EST
Please, stop blaming others for your failings.
Yes, Blair was selfish, but so were you. Worse, you spent all your capital defending narrow, outdated goals, i.e. subsidies for your agri-business pals. How has this anything to do with Europe? And how has this even anything to do with France's national interest when it focuses only on a very narrow - if noisy - group?
Blame Blair all you want, but at least he defended a real UK interest (the rebate), and the ensuing crisis gets him ever closer to his vision of a minimalist Europe that cares only about free trade. He has no ambition for Europe whatsoever, and you are playing into his hands like the pathetic incompetent you have always been.
Building a political Europe requires ambition, leadership and the willingness to compromise. You have never shown any of these traits, always preferring brinkmanship for short term gains that have resulted in strategic decline for France and for the European idea.
So, President Chirac, I beg you: take the last chance to make something out of your presidency, to be remembered as something else than a frantic failure - by pushing for a real reform of the CAP. You're ideally placed to get the French agro mafia to swallow it, being its boss. Get the CAP to focus on environmentally sound practices and to the long term survival of the small farmers, and nothing else. Stop the massive subsidies to the big players that don't need it. And take that issue that pollutes everything France does in Europe out of the table. If you do that, you could actually push for some really ambitious ideas in Europe in other policy areas - and have some credibility to do so.
Look at the press this morning. The Euroskeptics blame you, Chirac, with your pal Schroder for the failure, argue that this is but a lame attempt to distract voters from your domestic failures, and crowing that we are getting closer to the Europe that the peoples "really" want: the minimalist one. The pro-European papers are just as critical of both sides, but also agree that this plays in the hands of Blair and his narrow vision of Europe. In their view, selfishness form him is nothing new, but not the standards for supposedly "core Europeans". Everybody notes how the new European countries made more efforts -were more European - than all the rich countries did to try to find a compromise.
Are you actually a stooge of Blair? Is this really what you want - to give him the keys to a hollow Europe?
I beg you: do something. Show some spine. Make some real sacrifices for the greater good and maybe, maybe, you will leave a decent legacy. This is your last chance.