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Andre Fontaine

For Andre Fontaine's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary Dec 30, 2005

Decline of three EU leaders

PARIS -- At the end of last May, French and Dutch voters rejected by a strong majority the draft European constitution worked out by a convention chaired by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Since all 25 member-states of the European Union had to ...

Commentary Dec 2, 2005

Influence of French violence

PARIS -- No use telling Japan Times' readers about Beaujolais. Most of them surely have had the opportunity of tasting this refreshing, though somewhat acidic, wine from France. The day in November when new production went on sale used to be celebrated in many ...

Commentary Nov 3, 2005

Curtain falling on Chirac?

PARIS -- For decades it was widely assumed that Europe needed an engine to go forward, and that France and Germany were best qualified to play that role. For the time being, however, this has ceased to be true. If any member aims to ...

Commentary Oct 10, 2005

No 'Koizumi power' in Europe

PARIS -- As the London Economist wrote, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's "Revolution" was a "very Japanese" one indeed. What European politician today could dream of calling a general election designed to punish Parliament for having rejected his legislation and being rewarded with an electoral ...

Commentary Sep 3, 2005

Europeans sing the blues

PARIS -- According to the latest Eurobarometer, a regular survey published by Harris, less than a third of European Union residents are "very satisfied" with their lives, and only 44 percent expect things to improve in coming months. By comparison, Americans, according to the ...

Commentary Jul 30, 2005

Chirac sees his fortunes slip

PARIS -- After a majority of French voters handed President Jacques Chirac a defeat by voting no in a referendum on the proposed EU constitution, he kept his fingers crossed in the hope that Paris would be chosen to host the 2012 Games. You ...

Commentary Jul 2, 2005

A clash of European visions

PARIS -- The latest EU crisis could be one of the worst the European Union has known, and nobody can say if, when and how it will be overcome. "The war of wars, the fight of fights, is between France and England . . . ...

Commentary Jun 2, 2005

Chirac gambled and lost big

PARIS -- The polls, for once, were right: Sunday the French rejected the draft European constitutional treaty by nearly 55 percent. This outcome was all the more significant because no less than 70 percent of eligible voters took part. A major crisis has now opened ...

Commentary May 7, 2005

Grim outlook sways voters

PARIS -- On May 13, Jacques Chirac will celebrate the 13th anniversary of his first election to the presidency of the French Republic. Will he run for office again in 2007? By then he will be 75, an age that seems rather old for the ...

Commentary Mar 7, 2005

Bush narrows U.S.-EU gap

PARIS -- "Forgive the Russians, ignore the Germans, punish the French." U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn't appreciate being reminded of this famous statement, which she made in 2003 while serving as U.S. President George W. Bush's national security adviser. The purpose of ...