Although expected, the French “no” to the referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty (ECT) triggered a wave of outrageous comments in the international news media. Just as in the campaign, the opposition has little space in the media to express its point of view about its victory. The advocates of the Treaty have almost absolute monopoly to analyze the causes and consequences of the vote.
Francine Bavay, head of the French Greens, advocates of “no”, is one of the few persons who can express her opinion and be happy about the rejection to the text. In Tageszeitung, she stated that the French “no” is above all a left wing no, anti-liberal and European. She expects that this result allow the other political parties which are against the text in Europe to be able to open up a debate in their respective countries.

In France, the ECT had been supported by most of the editorialists. This unanimous stance caused friction among the advocates of “no” and calls were made in favor of a greater pluralism in the media. Rejecting the ECT could be interpreted partly as a political and mediatic rejection to the French elite, but it is obvious that this is not the way in which they want the results to be interpreted. Loyal to the rhetoric that had a consensus among the journalists in favor of “yes”, they consider that the rational, European and democratic field was discredited at the irrational, populist and xenophobic power of the voters.
In the columns of his newspaper, the editor in chief of Libération, Serge July, an almost exaggerated incarnation of the reactions of the editorialists after the vote got annoyed about the decision of the French voters. He violently struck his anger upon the politicians and left wing organizations that opposed the text and accused them of being involved with the extreme right wing. In his opinion, the advocates of «no» could be characterized with the same label of populism that he denounced, mixing it up with demagogy. This editorial triggered numerous mails from the readers who disagreed with his words. The director of Le Monde, Jean-Marie Colombani, for his part, regretted that the word was given to the people to ratify this text and also denounced the «no» of being xenophobic and anti-European. For the said author, the only possible answer to this vote is to implement the neoliberal polices advocated by Nicolas Sarkozy and Tony Blair. Thus, in stead of incriminating itself, the mediatic elite demand the continuation of the political program set out in the text the French have just rejected. It minimizes its own defeat blaming Jacques Chirac and his decision of calling a referendum.
This approach was shared by editorialist of the Washington Post David Ignatius. In a text taken up by the Korea Herald, it was mentioned that the French only said no to Jacques Chirac. He then expressed his desired for a change in the leadership of the State and the taking of power by Nicolas Sarkozy.
For the Atlantist and liberal circles frustrated by the referendum, the French Minister of Interior seemed to be the last resort.

In the Corriere Della Sera and El Periódico, the Italian Foreign Minister, Gianfranco Fini, also regretted about the result of the voting in France. He considered, however, that the ratification process should not finish and the French «no» should not be taken as a veto. In Der Tagesspiegel, the former German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, declared he was in favor of the continuation of the ratification process. More explicit than Fini, he hoped that 20 States or more accept the text and then it would be possible to oblige France to call a new referendum, an option that has been undermined after the publications of those editorials due to the Netherlands’ rejection of the ECT and the British statement of calling off the referendum in the United Kingdom.
The former British Minister for European Affairs, Denis MacShane, however, requested Blair’s government to continue with the campaign in favor of ECT. In Times of London, he stated the French «no» was the rejection to Jacques Chirac’s policy. The British, on their part, would be making a mistake if they reject a treaty that has had a tremendous impact. For the author, never before the British influence was so strong in a European text. Nevertheless, it should be recalled that in last February Denis MacShane himself had exactly stated the contrary to the readers of Figaro. But at that time it was necessary to convince the French readers.
The Austrian Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, Elfriede Jelinek, also showed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung her contempt for the French’s choice. She categorically stated that most of the voters did not know why they voted “no”. In her opinion, all the elements of the constitution could have been renegotiated and the approval of the text would have given new impetus to Europe.

In Russia, Vremya Novostyey published an interview with two political scientists who regretted about the result of the French vote. For Olga Butorina, of the MGIMO (State Institute of Foreign Relations of Moscow), the text would have enabled Russia to deal with only one interlocutor. However, every cloud has a silver lining: the result of the French vote showed to the former Soviet republics that building Europe was a fragile process and to have the eyes on the European Union to turn the back on Russia could be risky. Nadejda Arbatova, from the Movement “Russia within a united Europe”, regretted that this refusal hinder the establishment of a protection system for minorities that could have obliged the Baltic countries to respect the rights of the Russian speaking minorities. She also felt that this text gave Russia the possibility of a future accession through a set of associations.