U.S. Secretary of State and former negotiator at the WTC Robert B. Zoellick defended the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in the Washington Post. In his opinion, this is a way to consolidate democracy and stability, which came back to the region after years of civil war. But, for protectionist reasons, certain people in the U.S. would like to reject it. Zoellick reasserted to his opponents in the Congress that the CAFTA will permit to develop those countries and that if the current text is rejected we cannot expect to have a better agreement. In short, there is no “plan B”. It is also fun checking that Zoellick’s arguments are quite similar to those of the ECT supporters considering the European context. However, for some people, like Argentinean jurist Alejandro Teitelbaum, we are before very similar texts. Both the free trade agreements and the ECT aim at creating continental groups at the exclusive service of the U.S. financial and satellite means simultaneously.

The topic about the “satellization” of Europe or its liberation through the ECT was the center of the debate about the French referendum. Both supporters and opponents of the Treaty affirm that their choice is what upset Washington most - a hypothesis not commented by the Bush administration.

However, International Herald Tribune journalist John Vinocur partly gives an answer concerning the vision of the U.S. elite groups about the ECT. According to the author, who based his arguments on a series of interviews with personalities of the Bush administration, Washington is worried about the possible rejection of the text against its wish that it be adopted. This analysis is an example of the ambiguity of Washington’s policy in relation to the European construction. Very often, the Unites States has tried to divide Europe whenever Europe has had the opportunity to grow stronger from the political point of view. However, the fragmentation of the European Union is not a desired thing. Ideally, Washington would like to count on a united Europe but without a will of independence and on which it can rely on. Therefore, contrary to what the Treaty advocates say, the United States does not consider that the ECT will serve to build a “Europe Power”, or that the ECT will permit “to resist the American Power”. The Treaty is a way to build an Atlantist Europe. However, as an anonymous U.S. leader would tell this author: if this could help to its adoption, Washington is willing to speak badly of the Treaty.

To have an idea of the challenges to the referendum in France, the readers of the U.S. magazine Time are presented with a debate between two Frenchmen with opposite postures in relation to the text. On the side of the ECT adherents speaks former French President and co-writer of the Treaty Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, while the opponent side is amazingly represented by the author of the Les Guignols de l’info issue - Bruno Gaccio.

The Republic former President states that in contrast to what the text opponents say, the purpose of the ECT is not to create an ultraliberal Europe but a Europe with “a social market economy”. He urges the French to read the text and says that it only has 60 articles (sic) written in a way that facilitates their reading. However, for Bruno Gaccio this is a dull text, hard to understand and that nobody will read. The position of the electors is then viewed according to the leaders supporting the text or opposing it. But as the French neither trust Jacques Chirac nor Jean-Pierre Raffarin - both supporters of the text - they are getting ready to vote NO. There are valid elements in this reasoning but we can take it beyond the persons of the two French executive leaders. In fact, the determining element in the electors’ posture seems to be, first of all, the relationship with the political, media and financial elites that approve the ECT.

In Die Welt, Austrian conservative chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel urged the French to vote in favor of the ECT and asserted, like Veléry Giscard d’Estaing, that this includes many social progresses. He also regretted that the French had chosen the way of the referendum.

This rejection of the referendum’s principle was also shared by French writer and architect Paul Virilio in Die Zeit. According to Virilio, Jacques Chirac wanted a plebiscite and based on this he gave people the task of deciding in relation to a text that they cannot understand. He also condemned the attitude of the French mass media, which systematically scoffs at the “no” supporters as though they were also waiting for a plebiscite in favor of a “yes” and it were impossible to think of another choice.

In Le Monde, ATTAC president and economist Jacques Nikonoff questioned Giscard’s and Schüssel’s arguments about the economic achievements. The end of the European Union is implied in the text as it deprives this institution of the tools for economic action. The text can only call forth a greater discomfort within the population as well as its separation from Europe.

Far from these traditional debates on the ECT economic orientation or its relationship with the U.S., the French press has increased the publication of collective calls encouraging the Treaty, and emphasizing less important issues. Le Figaro is the most active in this practice. After the French employers and the liberal UMP leaders, there comes the turn for farmers and Green leaders. Although the FNSEA - the French main farming union - has not officially taken sides, its former president Luc Guyau and its current president Jean-Michel Lemétayer support the Treaty, “personally”, in two texts. For them, the French agriculture owes a lot to the European Union and the Treaty ratifies the principles of a common agricultural policy. So, the vote must then be in favor of the ECT. It is not said that such calls, addressed to a professional class, which in its majority oppose the text, do not curry favor with the Farmers Confederation - a rival of the FNSEA opposed to the Treaty.

On their side, in the name of ecology and the defense of the environment, French Green leaders (Denis Baupin, Yves Cochet, Alain Lipietz, Noël Mamère, Dominique Voynet and Yann Wehrling) support the text. For them, the ECT allows the development of environmental policies, which are vital for the future generations. Le Monde published an appeal made by European judges once in charge of corruption files, who praise a treaty, which in their opinion favors a Europe of justice and the common work of the police that fights in this way the impunity of the international crime.