WELL there must be something wrong when the pro-European Union French say no...and it was a big no not one that the pro-Europeans can turn to their advantage. But don't forget, though, that only a small majority voted for the Maastricht Treaty in France and really the No vote on the Constitution is no surprise. While I believe in the European Union I do feel that we are being steam-rolled into a Europe which we don't want. On the financial markets the euro may have been a success but we have all been hit in the pocket and still, almost three years after its introduction, most Spaniards still think in pesetas. The euro is introduced, the European Union is enlarged and then a new Constitution drawn-up all in the space of three years. The pace is extraordinary and I think most Europeans would just like time to take stock and think about the future. Hopefully, the French have given us the necessary breathing space. I doubt really that the Constitution will survive in its present form. Probably the biggest thorn in the side of the Europen Union is Britain. Most Spaniards I talked to didn't really want to give up the peseta but they thought that it was the only option. Britain has proved so far, that you can stay out of the euro, still be at the heart of Europe and retain your own currency. All of a sudden, you get the impression that continental Europe might slowly be coming around to the fact that euro-sceptic Britain might just have a point. I think a period of consolidation and thought is needed before we embark on another European dream. The European Union has made great advances over recent years but there is no hurry. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. Unless, breathing space is allowed then Europe could be heading for some major problems.
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