Dutch reactions to the new European treaty range from 'good for the Netherlands' to a 'betrayal of Dutch interests' but there is no parliamentary majority for a new referendum, ANP reports on Monday.The jarring bit about this is the fact that at the time of the previous referendum te Christen Unie was dead set against the 'Constitution' and Andre Rouvoet, then fraction leader of the Christen Unie (at that time part of the opposition) and current minister of Youth and Family affairs, one of it's most eloquent opponents. Which in itself is probably an object lesson on how power corrupts. And another such lesson is of course Wouter Bos, PvdA leader and now Fiance minister, who made the solemn promise during election time that any new treaty even slightly resembling the old 'Constitution' should, and therefor would, be put to a new referendum. Let me repeat:
Labour party (PvdA) leader and deputy prime minister Wouter Bos said he would defend the treaty to the hilt, while André Rouvoet, who is the Christian Unie leader and the other deputy prime minister, said the European constitution had been swept from the table. Both parties are in the coalition government.
Labour party (PvdA) leader and deputy prime minister Wouter Bos said he would defend the treaty to the hilt, while André Rouvoet, who is the Christian Unie leader and the other deputy prime minister, said the European constitution had been swept from the table. Both parties are in the coalition government.Sic transit gloria mundi. It is probably the effect of our current PM, the Balkenende touch (as opposed to the the Midas touch) which turns everything into the blandest, most mediocre shadow of its former self.
In the mean time we have confirmation, in the form of Irish minister for foreign affairs, Dermot Ahern, and Finland's State Secretary for EU Affairs Jari Luoto that the new mandate detailing the end result of the IGC planned for mid-July is the undead 'Constitution' with make-up.
Finland has now joined Ireland in declaring that the new "treaty" is essentially the same as the failed EU constitution.So, having voted off this beast once, we may not get a second chance to rid ourselves of this burocratic plague, by virtue of a 'government accord' that absolves both PvdA and the CU of their election time pledges.
This was from Finland's State Secretary for EU Affairs Jari Luoto who, according to YLE News, said that there were few differences between it and "the constitutional treaty which has already been ratified by Finland's Parliament".
The Socialist Party and Wilders' PVV are on the ball. Earlier, SP's harry van Bommel already declared the 'mandate' to be the "constitution in drag". They will raise hell in the coming months trying to force a referendum. But the inconvenient fact is that the coalition of CDA, PvdA and CU form a majority in Second Chamber and thus are able to block any attempt at a referendum. It is now up to the people, up to us, to convince the coalition parties that their re-election, their continued existence as a credible political force even, is now contingent on their allowing us a say in this putrid, deceptive affair.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a fight on our hands. A real one. Two questions remain: What side are YOU on? And what are YOU going to do?
[INSTANT UPDATE] To scare us into accepting the 'new deal' the government came up with it's own 'War of the Worlds' attempt: A radio segment reporting the reactions and consequences on the decision to withdraw the Netherlands from the EU per January 1st, 2008. It is in Dutch, unfortunately. But for my Dutch readers: Click and enjoy! This is the best our government can come up with in the way of propaganda? Leni Riefenstahl they most certainly are not.
[UPDATE001] Add another to the list of countries that are being told that the 'mandate' is in fact the 'constitution': Spain. Spanish PM Zapatero:
A great part of the content of the European constitution is captured in the new treaties. Everyone has conceded a little so that we all gain a lotAnd the spokesman for the Spanish Socialist Party:
99 per cent of the original constitution survivedOr maybe we can make that four, because in that same piece we have Angela Merkel saying that 'the fundamentals of the constitution have been maintained in large part'. And get a load of this telling quote:
We have renounced everything that makes people think of a state, like the flag and the national anthem.So, by there own admission this has been an excersise in shadow boxing, in make belief. They really must think we're all 'mentally challenged'.
[UPDATE002] This one must be preserved for posterity: EU Referendum finds the quote that sums up the whole process leading up to the new mandate in the China Post of all places.
"We made a real effort to be opaque," one senior negotiator boasted. Several countries -- notably Britain, France and the Netherlands -- had insisted the result must look nothing like a constitution to avoid having to hold a referendum, he said.