Friday, 2 November 2007

French Socialists fall into line

The French political class, like that of most other EU states, has been “squared” for the parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon treaty. In other words, there will be referendums. The First Secretary of the Socialist Party, François Hollande, has confirmed to President Sarkozy that Socialist deputies will vote in favour of the Lisbon treaty. Hollande said, “We will pass this text, we will not oppose this simplified treaty.” (In fact, the Lisbon treaty is far more complicated than the European constitution was.) Hollande said that he thinks a referendum should be held but that he “takes note” of the fact that one will not be. The French Communists have said they are against the treaty; the Greens are in favour. The compliant attitude of the Socialists, who are overwhelmingly pro-EU, contrasts with the significant internal divisions in 2005. The No camp was then led, at least for the Left, by Laurent Fabius, the Socialist former Prime Minister.

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