February 19, 2003

Aznar, Berlusconi, Blair--The Pressure Mounts

Aznar, Berlusconi, Blair--The Pressure Mounts

Italy's biggest labor union threatens a strike if war breaks out. Aznar and Blair's poll numbers are sinking (Aznar's party has less support than the Socialists for the first time since he came to power three years ago). The WaPo has the story here.

And just think, what if Italy and Spain happened to have center-left governments in power during the continuing crisis over Iraq? Believe me, there are no Blairite lefties in Spain or Italy. Portugal would likely also have been less cooperative given Spain's stance in such a scenario. Old Europe would have included several more countries. The U.S. would have been left with the U.K. and Eastern/Central Europe touting its Iraq line.

Of course, it's no coincidence the three biggest protests were in Rome, Madrid and London. I trust none of these leaders will buckle. The problem, however, is they all would desparately like a second resolution. Would Chirac dare veto it to spite his Euro rivals whom he views as Dubya vassals that could use a muscular Gaullist slap-down (or is that an oxymoron)? He just might, despite my earlier inclinations that the French would be with us at crunch-time.

Posted by Gregory at February 19, 2003 10:25 PM
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