Italian press slams 'lame duck' Chirac

17th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

ROME, June 17 (AFP) - Italian newspapers Friday laid into France's President Jacques Chirac, labelling him an obstacle to the course of the European Union and calling on Italy to swing over to Britain's vision of the future of the bloc.

ROME, June 17 (AFP) - Italian newspapers Friday laid into France's President Jacques Chirac, labelling him an obstacle to the course of the European Union and calling on Italy to swing over to Britain's vision of the future of the bloc.   

The economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore, in a hard-hitting front-page editorial, called the French leader "the enemy of the EU," while Confindustria, organ of the Italian employers' federation, said Chirac should take the first step to get Europe out of its current deadlock, by resigning and vanishing from the political stage.   

The left-wing La Repubblica said Chirac, who has failed to bounce back since French voters shocked him by rejecting the EU constitution in a March 29 referendum he had called, was a beaten man.   

"His weakness in France makes him a lame duck in Europe," the paper said, contrasting him with the right's rising star, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.   

Renato Brunetta, an economic adviser to Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, told La Stampa daily that the French-German axis within Europe was now dead, adding, "Italy must support Tony Blair, the only one able to exercise leadership at present."   

Other newspapers agreed, with Il Corriere della Sera saying that while France's interest in sustaining the Common Agricultural Policy was well known, "we, who are losing competitiveness in the markets, have other interests, other priorities to assert."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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