Outlook: Markets Oblivious to French 'Non' Vote

By Warner, Jeremy | The Independent (London, England), April 29, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Outlook: Markets Oblivious to French 'Non' Vote


Warner, Jeremy, The Independent (London, England)


There's only one election that really matters in Europe right now, and it's not the one that happens next week in Britain. Rather, it is the French referendum on the EU constitution on 29 May. That, at least, is the fashionable thing to say at lunch tables up and down the City.

The general election seems to be a closer contest than anyone thought likely, yet there is still not much doubt about the outcome, and I suspect that when push comes to shove, it'll prove more of a walkover for Labour than the pundits are saying, not with standing the shenanigans over the legal advice for going to war.

The prospect of a 'non' vote in France, on the other hand, is being widely billed as the greatest upset for Europe's political elites since the Second World War, with potentially catastrophic or hugely beneficial consequences, depending on who you happen to be listening to at the time. This is, of course, a gross exaggeration. Indeed, I doubt a no vote in France is of any long-term significance at all, though plainly it would be the death of the present constitutional proposal. I take comfort in this view from the financial markets, whose reaction thus far to the growing likelihood of a French 'non' has been precisely zero.

The calm with which financial markets view this potential 'catastrophe' for Europe is in marked contrast to the hysterical predictions of the politicians, which range from the comparatively modest forecast of a sharp rise in interest rates to the end of the single currency or even the European project as we know it. If any of these outcomes were even remotely likely, there would already be mayhem in the markets.

Spreads have widened marginally in recent months, but this is down more to the loosening of the Stability and Growth Pact rules and some specific national concerns than referendum prompted doubts about the future of the single currency.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Outlook: Markets Oblivious to French 'Non' Vote
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?