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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fallout from French rejection of EU Constitution.

New York Times:

President Jacques Chirac of France fired his loyal, long-suffering prime minister today, a direct response to the country's decisive rejection of a referendum on the constitution for Europe that was as much as rejection of his 10-year presidency. In announcing the resignation of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Elysee Palace named Interior Minister and former Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin as his replacement. The choice of Mr. de Villepin, 51, a well-born, high-octane former career diplomat who has never held elected office and writes poetry in his spare time, means that Mr. Chirac has no intention of abandoning his vision of a grand and glorious France with a unique leadership mission in the world. Mr. Chirac and Mr. de Villepin did not immediately announce a major shakeup of his cabinet. That is expected to be made known on Wednesday.
It seems pretty clear that the EU Constitution is dead at least for now. I am not sure that Chirac is taking the right lesson from this vote however, de Villepin seems like exactly the wrong sort of guy to be able to turn things around.


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