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On the Crisis of Being French

25 May 2005

Much has been written of the political and emotional state of a nation ahead of Sunday's referendum on the EU constitution.  Called by President Chirac, the French referendum is being touted as the deciding vote on the future of the EU, and looks like backfiring on the government. With the "non" vote gaining the ascendence through an unholy alliance of far left, far right and dissident gaullists, Krzysztof Bobinski writes on the injustice of such French self-importance for the rest of Europe, and the cowardice of the British in relying upon it. Johannes Willms argues that the debate in France reveals a nation torn, and exposes deep-seated fears over national identity, whilst Frank Vibert  urges the French to do us all a favour and ditch a constitutional "turkey".  The BBC's correspondent in Paris John Simpson says the result is too close to call,  but that its clearly touched a nerve in the ongoing debate on national life. The BBC also offers a breakdown of arguments for and against here.  There is a lot of talk about identity, but the French crisis must be about more than a threat to baguettes non? Europe news offers a selection of reports from all over the world, whilst European Democracy  has some interesting discussions of the implications union-wide.

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