|Wednesday, 20 April 2005||
The Dutch referendum will take place on June 1, just three days after the French one, apparently regardless of its outcome. Could be interesting. Historically, there has been little love lost between France and Holland, so it will be interesting to see what effect the French vote will have.
Whatever it will be, one Dutch Minister has shown himself to be even sillier than our own politicians by announcing that if there is a no vote in the Netherlands, the economy will collapse because “people would stop buying things like television sets”. Why on earth would they do that? Do these people live in the same universe as the rest of us?
Then, as some of our readers have already noted, the Dutch Minister of Justice announced that if the Constitution fails, the whole Continent will collapse into immediate and prolonged warfare. Look at Yugoslavia, he wailed (http://www.trouw.nl/nieuwse…).
Well, yes, indeed, look at Yugoslavia, his opponents answered quite sensibly. Look what happened when an impossible federation was kept together by force as its integral parts declared for independence. And there is less to keep the EU together.
Thanks to our Dutch friends, we can publish a critique of the speech that appeared as an immediate response:
“The same arguments that Donner states in this article to support a YES vote, can be used to support a NO vote. Yugoslavia that was further integrated than the EU has fallen apart.
Indeed! Where only a few begin dictating their rulings to minorities – and the Netherlands will become such a minority – groups will begin to secede, using violence if need be, as we have seen.
Cooperating on a European level is OK and could be extended, but giving up national sovereignty and subjecting ourselves to the power of a few larger European countries is a step too far. It is not in the interest of continued peace when some will soon have to dance to the tunes of others. We put our future at stake when we give up our independence!”
They have also achieved a small coup in the media. The leading Dutch magazine Elsevier has devoted one issue to the proposition “Why NO is better than YES.” (http://www.elsevier.nl/nieu…)
Though they seem to be managing extremely well, our Dutch friends and colleagues can count on our support until jointly we defeat the monster.
By Helen Szamuely
This article first appeared on http://eureferendum.blogspo…