Oh, the French temper... So difficult to contain even for a statesman like president Sarkozy. He knew well that as soon as he quotes the enlargement issue in relation to the Lisbon Treaty, things could only get worse. Yet he did not manage to keep quitet and his words echoed loudly in Warsaw and Prague. Because all of a sudden it is no longer Ireland on the agenda, it is Poland and the Czech Republic, who are questioning the revelance of Lisbon after the Irish have dealt a blow to the Treaty.
We're facing a chain-reaction in some of the Eastern Europe new member states. Prague, with ultra-sceptic president Klaus was the first in the region do declare Lisbon dead and somewhat more moderate prime minister Topolanek, the head of the Czech delegation to the EU summit in Brussels, became the European "public enemy number one" when he said he wouldn't bet much on the Treaty in his home country.
But Warsaw, keeping a low profile at the moment, was quietly rubbing hands at the Irish disaster and was furious on Sarkozy's threats. It is Poland, who pushes for the further EU enlargement, especially eastwards, and France must have known what effect it provokes here on the Vistula. Prime minister Tusk was quick to denounce Sarkozy's blast as unacceptable and foreign minister Sikorski said simply he did not understand the logics behind it.
I guess the feeling in Warsaw and maybe in Prague is that enough's enough - and I do realise that may be also the mood in Berlin and Paris. Poland has just hosted Sarkozy, Merkel and Juncker - but the talks apparently brought little in concrete terms. Just days after - the three teams up to blackmail those, who have not ended the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (Poland was caught half-way through, the Czechs postponed it by sending the treaty for constitutional scrutiny). The core EU tandem plays a hard ball now, but may overplay.
If the referendum crisis provokes another, a row about the enlargement and the EU vision, the Treaty may never be adopted. As result, the EU will loose its credibility and face fragmentation: a two tier Union is looming. The leaders should work together, thread carefully and watch their mouth in the first place, not to make things worse from a quite miserable starting point.