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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:19 PM
Original message
Blair set for urgent talks if France says 'non'
Edited on Sat May-28-05 01:24 PM by phoebe
snip
http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=585162005

May 28,2005

PRIME Minister Tony Blair will hold urgent talks with European leaders if France votes no in a referendum tomorrow and rejects the EU Constitution.

Yesterday, Mr Blair held talks in Rome with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who urged the French to vote "Oui".

As Britain takes over the presidency of the European Union on July 1, Mr Blair will be responsible for dealing with the aftermath of a "no" vote.

Even if France rejects the charter, Mr Blair would still have to hold a referendum in the UK.

What the heck does he think Berlusconi can do for him???

On edit - why the heck does Blair think that he will get to run the EU after all that he has done re: Iraq?
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Immad2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very interesting. Thanks for the link
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Berlusconi and Chirac are probably the most conservative leaders of EU
nations, and perhaps Blair feels the far right is losing interest in the EU so he's trying to talk them into getting their shit together for the sake of the EU.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Berlusconi and Chirac are probably the most conservative leaders of EU
nations, and perhaps Blair feels the far right is losing interest in the EU so he's trying to talk them into getting their shit together for the sake of the EU.
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. It's out of Chirac's hands
He's been trying very hard to convince his fellow Frenchmen, and he is very passionately pro-EU, but a majority of the French are not willing to accept this constitution.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I think it's possible that he employed a strategy he knew wouldn't work.
From what I hear his little show trying to appeal to the youth vote came off very poorly, and it might have been that he knew that was what was going to happen.
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. It did come off very poorly
I watch French TV5, and it was like Shrubs' Social Security meetings. Everything was scripted, with youngsters asking softball questions and Chirac giving prepared answers. Now, if he tried to lose on purpose (TLOP?), that's a possibility I haven't given any consideration I must admit. Hmmm...
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. Blair screwed up big time....spending way too much time and ....
...kissing up to George Bush.
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Berlusconi supports Blair's goals for G8
Edited on Sat May-28-05 01:39 PM by phoebe
http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/05/27/news/blair.php

snip

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday offered his support to Prime Minister Tony Blair's goals of more aid for Africa and progress against global warming as the British leader lobbied his ambitious agenda for the G8 summit meeting he is scheduled to lead in July.

snip

Mocked as "Bush's poodle" for following Washington's lead in the Iraq war, Blair could show his opinion carries weight in the White House if he wins support for his agenda at the G8.

snip

Berlusconi, who is facing elections next year, praised Blair for his victory, saying winning three terms in a row was "exceptional."

snip

The Bush administration says the mechanism conflicts with U.S. budget laws. Instead, Washington is pushing its Millennium Challenge Account, which ties foreign assistance to good governance and democracy, and says future aid should be delivered as grants, not loans.

snip

"We need to make sure that the African countries adopt a mechanism to ensure that there is good governance and no corruption," Blair said.

Business as usual..f*ck the poor and get richer while you're at it..

On Edit - Tokyo supports Bush
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. While other world leaders stumble, Bush gains clout
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-05-28-bush...

snip

Nearly all his fellow leaders of the world's big industrial democracies have stumbled. It has left them vulnerable at home and weakener on the world stage.

The president, through it all, is riding what he sees as a strong re-election mandate to trumpet his goal of spreading democracy.

That helps explains why Bush, despite a slip in his approval rating among Americans, may find himself holding the stronger hand when he travels in early July to Scotland for the annual summit of the leaders of the eight major industrialized democracies.

"His counterparts all face ill political winds that make their domestic positions rather precarious," said Charles Kupchan, director of European studies with the Council on Foreign Relations, a private research group. "I do think it puts Bush in an advantageous position."

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Blair asking the French to vote oui probably hurts the yes vote
Blair hasn't been much nicer to the French than BushCo has been.
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Teresa Heinz Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. Re: "Blair set for urgent talks if France says 'non'"
Blair is desperate for a legacy, and if the French vote yes, then he's hoping for a British yes (unlikely) in 2006, after which he will resign. But if the French vote no, then Blair is obviously in the best position to pick up the pieces & therefore dominate (he wishes) the future of the EU. The fact that the UK holds the EU presidency & the G8 chairmanship simultaneously has nothing to do with Blair.
There has been a lot of argument as to whether he is truly sincere about the EU constitution, and that the delayed UK referendum is a sign of this. I don't think so. When he retires, he'll only be in his mid-50s, & I'm sure he'll want another job. President of the EU maybe?
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. but why the BS on Africa ? He has absolutely no intention of playing
Edited on Sat May-28-05 01:48 PM by phoebe
"nice" in Africa by forgiving debt and nor does Berlusconi - does he really think the average citizen in UK/Italy will fall for this joke?

This whole thing smacks of a massive distraction - away from what??
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. No, I actually think he's sincere about Africa
He's not a completely selfish wanker, unlike Bush. He does like power, and is attracted to those who wield it - hence his submission to Bush. But he does have some compassion - and he'd love a legacy of having really helped to do some lasting good (especially now he's realised that Bush has screwed him on Iraq and Israel/Palestine).

However, I don't think he has any leverage with Bush (whatever he thinks he still has), so I don't think he'll be able to get anything major done. But I do give him points for trying. He'd get more points if he could swallow his pride and bring down Bush by revealing how deep the conspriacy to lie about Iraq went. That would be the best thing he could do for the world now - it might get rid of Bush, or cripple him so that a Democrat would be bound to get in as President the next time (and would help in Congress, too). But Blair isn't so altruistic that he'd do that, unfortunately.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Of course he won't - he'd go on trial for war crimes.
Unless he cut a deal, I suppose...

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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. "This whole thing smacks of a massive distraction"
Edited on Sat May-28-05 02:23 PM by Anarcho-Socialist
British politics is very different from American politics and applying the same logic doesn't necessarily work.

Gordon Brown the UK Chancellor has already forgiven all 3rd world debt owned to the British government and so I don't doubt motives in that area. The Labour Party still is broadly Social Democratic in economic terms and forgiving 3rd world debt is a part of this.
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. thanks for your response
Edited on Sat May-28-05 02:38 PM by phoebe
when did Brown do this? Does this make any sort of realistic dent in the debt owed with regard to other nations? It's all very well to continue offering aid to Africa but isn't it going to end up in the pockets of the US and multi-national corps. anyway?

Sorry if appear to be completely ignorant/cynical - there are so many distractions with regards to politics here..
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I believe it was in 2004
Blair is bringing it up because he wants other governments to do the same.
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. was editing as you were responding..can you respond to new ?
Edited on Sat May-28-05 02:59 PM by phoebe
tx..

on edit - didn't realize time - have to go for now..hope to keep up the dialog with all of you on this subject
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. The main reason Labour won the majority
of seats once again despite the war in Iraq is probably Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He's a very popular politician, definitely to the left of Blair and closer to Labour traditions. He is expected to take over the post of Prime Minister next year. The third world debt issue is an issue many Labour voters feel strongly about.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Anarcho-socialist is right
Gordon Brown has pledged the UK will write off its share of debts owed by the world's poorest countries.

The chancellor encouraged other rich nations to do the same in a bid to lift the burden of debt repayments from Third World nations.

The UK holds about 10% of the total debt owed to the World Bank and other development banks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3692414.stm
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Possibly
U.S. healthcare aid tends to line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. The UK simply can't afford to subsidise corporations like that, and for example will buy the most competitively-priced pharmaceuticals if it's healthcare aid we're talking about.

There is the danger that some of the countries might simply borrow yet more money after this debt was forgiven, but that is the responsibility of those countries.

There was an incident where after the UK forgave Uganda's debt, its president decided to buy himself a $19 million private jet - but things like that are unfortunate.

If the countries are smart and thrifty then they can avoid lining the pockets of foreign corporations.
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Welcome to DU
:hi:
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. Berlusconi should keep quiet if he wants the oui to win.
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. OK...
"What the heck does he think Berlusconi can do for him???"

Italy is Europe's 3rd largest economy and as such they a major player in Europe. Berlusconi and Blair have a history of cooperating over pro-free market thinking.

"On edit - why the heck does Blair think that he will get to run the EU after all that he has done re: Iraq?"

The EU Presidency revolves every 6 months to each member of the EU.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
18. I'd have thought Zapatero would have been a better bet
for the publicity - a left wing leader, recently elected, who's enthusiastic about the constitution, and who was backed by the vast majority of both his voters and parliament. Then again, Zapatero was actually campaigning for the constitution inside France - possibly becaUse he's welcome among the French left wing, where Blair and Berlusconi probably aren't.
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Definitely aren't.
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-05 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. But Zapatero is though, isn't he?
Isn't Zapatero popular with the Franois Hollande faction of the socialists. I like Zapatero, though I'm sceptical of the constitution. Wouldn't have helped though, ce sera non demain. a, c'est sr.
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