What Ireland's 'No' means for the E.U.

The French daily Libération dubbed it the Irish ambush, while Le Monde called it the Irish alert. Both were right. In the curious way that democracy has of upsetting the best-laid plans of the proud and powerful, a strange coalition of Greens, anti-abortion activists, Irish nationalists and detractors of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern voted 54-46% against ratifying the European Union's Nice Treaty, and in so doing, managed to throw the ungainly process of reforming and expanding the E.U. into chaos. As Ahern, embarrassed and chastened, scrambled last week to recover, delegates at the E.U. summit in Gothenburg wondered whether the no...

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