French MPs sue Britain's MacShane over 'con' jibe

12th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, May 12 (AFP) - Two French lawmakers campaigning against the EU constitution have lodged a complaint against Britain's former minister for European affairs Denis MacShane, who called opponents of the treaty "bloody idiots".

BORDEAUX, France, May 12 (AFP) - Two French lawmakers campaigning against the EU constitution have lodged a complaint against Britain's former minister for European affairs Denis MacShane, who called opponents of the treaty "bloody idiots".  

The two Socialist MPs, Henri Emmanuelli and Arnaud Montebourg, objected to MacShane's use of the French term "con", which roughly translates as "damn fool" or "bloody idiot", their lawyer said Thursday.  

On March 24, MacShane and his French counterpart Claudie Haignere spoke in favour of the European constitution to a group of university students at an economics school in the southwest French city of Bordeaux.  

After saying in near-perfect French that a 'non' to the EU charter in France's May 29 referendum would be "a disaster for Europe and the world," MacShane launched a diatribe against "reactionaries, neo-conservatives, neo-communists and neo-cons" working to see the constitution voted down.  

MacShane said he was "very disappointed by the attitude of some friends on the left", adding: "The politically transmitted anti-Europe disease has crossed the Channel and infected some."  

In their complaint, Emmanuelli and Montebourg accuse MacShane - who was replaced by Douglas Alexander following last week's general election in Britain - of "slander".

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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