Our dear friends in Germany have tried to frighten the French through a letter published in the newspaper Le Monde:
It seems to be in style to launch media appeals across borders as soon as elections are in sight. The Germans are in their element when it concerns giving political lessons to the inhabitants of the entire world. They have already showed their wish to choose the US president. However, by using a referendum, we would like to decide on the constitution for ourselves. Thank you for your interest and penetrating interference in our internal affairs. You Germans dream of a great Europe to atone for the horrible history that bears the name Germany. We, the French, are proud of our nation - something that you dislike. You call it a failure of reason if we don’t say amen to this long, 500-page paragraph that carries the name “constitution.” We were the first ones in the reign to experience of political reason. That which was called terror spilled a lot of blood 200 years ago. From time to time, we are still not sufficiently reasonable to express our anger to our politicians. You should also try that; it would be quite good for your democratic culture.
As for democracy, it seems that you don’t trust the political maturity of the people. If you did, you would also have a referendum. You fear that the people will make a decision different from that of the parliament, while you bravely tell us with that “fear is a sign of weakness!” After all, what notion do you have of value and the role of the constitution? We still remember the time when mailmen and train conductors could not perform their duties if the least doubt existed as to their faith in the constitution. We find this much more worrisome, keeping in mind that that monstrous document is technocratic, that no one understands it and that no one wants it. The commercial Europe is already a reality and cultural Europe will not have anything to do with centralized representation in Brussels.
Another thing, have the kindness to stop making fun of our “no” vote at the end of month. If we say no, some politicians will have been annoyed for nothing, but the world order will not have been disturbed. From time to time we decide to paralyze the country with trucks, but later life continues. Give us the pleasure to sabotage this part of our culture. You Germans should not always take things so seriously. Simply vote against this stupid constitution in parliament!

Der Standard (Austria)

"Vom Unbehagen am deutschen Mahnwesen ", by Burkhard Muller-Ullrich, Der Standard , May 12, 2005.