Friday 17 September 2010

“Romagate”: Sarkozy gets an earful back from European press

The conclusions of the European Council yesterday, 16 September 2010 (EUCO 21/10) give a somewhat surreal impression, because they drone on about the external relations of the European Union and briefly mention economic governance, whereas the drama inside seems to have emanated from an irate president Nicolas Sarkozy. The reporters outside were served highly contradictory accounts of the altercations.

Our latest episode of “Romagate” looked at how president Sarkozy announced his government’s crackdown on crime and the demolition of Roma camps. Had the Roma had been targeted and are actions on the ground going to change? The blog post asked you to be the judge of that.

On, under Topics, there are by now many fresh blog posts tagged ‘france’ or ‘minorities’, to name the most common ones. Untagged new posts are found in the stream of all new entries: Posts.

Libération has a review on European press reactions to president Sarkozy’s anti-Roma politics and summit outbursts. To put it mildly, Sarkozy has done France’s international standing no favour.

The headline that France has merited ejection from the European Union has to be seen as moral condemnation, since there is no legal procedure for evicting members. Only a unanimous decision by all the other member states can lead to a suspension of rights.

From the viewpoint of electoral politics Sarkozy is not yet that ill affected. Jean Quatremer reports on the Coulisses de Bruxelles blog that 56 per cent of the French supported the president before yesterday’s summit.

Ralf Grahn

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