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Many true believers still can't take it in. But we should have seen it coming. The "no" vote was the culmination of a five-year French nervous breakdown

By Manneken Pis   July 2005

Clinging to the wreckage A couple of days before the French referendum on the EU constitution, your correspondent was travelling home on the Brussels metro and found himself sitting next to the spokeswoman for Joaquín Almunia, the EU commissioner from Spain. What, I asked, were the commissioner’s thoughts on the prospect of a French “no”? “He refuses to believe that France will vote no,” was the reply. Even after the French and Dutch had indeed rejected the constitution, many people in Brussels still seemed unable to adjust to the news. This state of denial was, in some ways, understandable. The…

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