The Right Coast

January 22, 2004
The EU Constitution
By Michael Rappaport

I was reading a print version of the Economist the other day, while waiting to meet someone, and came across a discussion of the failure of the Europeans to agree on a constitution for the EU. Interestingly, the Economist placed the blame on, you guessed it, that most multilateral of all European nations, France.

Yet, the most amusing part of the story involved this discussion of one of the meetings:
    On December 12th European leaders sat down to lunch expecting to thrash out final details of a constitution for the European Union. But the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who was in the chair, had other ideas. “Let’s talk about football and women instead. I know a lot about women, I’ve even [sic] featured in the pages of Playboy, but I know there are other people around this table who know even more,” he said. Turning jovially to the German chancellor, Mr. Berlusconi remarked: “Gerhard, you have had four wives—what can you tell us about women?” Neither Mr. Schroder nor any of the women at the table was amused. It was an inappropriate opening. A day later Mr. Berlusconi reported to a reconvened group that the talks had failed.
Not exactly James Madison and George Mason in Philadelphia.