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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Derisive Baguette

The Polish explanation of why the French voted no on Sunday to the EU constitution.
[...] What the French were saying no to was not the constitution itself. They were saying no to what they are calling the ‘anglo-saxon model’ of what the EU has become.[...]

The model that the Polish economy is working towards is the one they have in Britain. During the general election there a few weeks ago the New Labour government loved to trumpet the talents of their finance minister, Gordon Brown, as the reason for the UK’s uninterrupted and healthy level of economic growth and low level of unemployment.

But the real reason why the British economy is out performing the German and French is that these are structurally different economies, and have been since the reforms forced through by the Margaret Thatcher governments of the 1980’s.

Britain, unlike France, has comparatively low levels of tax; it has a comparatively flexible and mobile work force; it has comparatively high levels of home ownership. It also helps that the UK, many argue, has not adopted the Euro as its currency.

But the French do not like this model. They wave a derisive baguette in the direction of the UK and point to the fact that British employees work longer hours than anyone in Europe. They snigger at Britain’s second class and under invested public services. The French like their 35-hour week and they like their joy de vivre and that’s the way they want to keep things.
I just like the derisive baguette phrase. I keep imagining a French person waving one and having it break...

Posted by Lucia Maria | 6/02/2005 03:35:00 pm


Blogger Paul said...

This comment comes after two weeks in London without the time to access the internet, but talking to folk about the French (and now the Dutch) vote. The thing that really strikes me about the results is that these are generally very socialist countries taking a right wing position on the constitution.

Now, I haven't read the thing, but I understand that the various nationals voting "no" do not want a "one-size-fits-all whether you dam well like it or not" constitution. Good on them I say! I will comment some more on this issue when I get back to NZ because I suspect that our media have been too busy glorifying our Leader to cover this very important issue which could spark a real crisis within the EU.

6/03/2005 01:28:00 am  
Blogger Paul said...

... if anyone is interested, that is ;)

6/03/2005 01:30:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Definately interested. I was wondering where you were!

6/03/2005 08:56:00 am  

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