"Something shattered in Europe Friday night."


The NYT reports that EU leaders have returned home "in anger and in shame" following their failed summit this week. At issue was the EU budget as well as the proposed constitution that has been rejected by French and Dutch voters. However, the complete failure of the reportedly acrimonious meeting to address the EU's pressing problems "stripped away all pretense of an organization with a common vision and reflected the fears of many leaders in the face of rising popular opposition to the project called Europe."

"Most embarrassing," writes reporter Elaine Sciolino, "was a last-minute attempt by its 10 newest members to salvage the budget agreement late Friday night. They offered to give up some of their own aid from the union so that the older and richer members could keep theirs." France, for example, receives $13 billion in farm subsidies from the EU.

Tony Blair was talking about Jacques Chirac when he told reporters Friday that, "I'm not prepared to have someone tell me there is only one view of what Europe is and that's the view expressed by certain people at certain points in time." On the other hand, Luxembourg's Claude Juncker, outgoing EU president, said he would "not be listening" when Blair addresses the European Parliament this coming week.

Anybody got a plausible Plan B?