By Jason Moore

EUROPE is split right down the middle and once close allies are now busy fighting amongst themselves. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar is involved in a war of words with French President Jacques Chirac and he even went as far as saying that France had “material interests” in Iraq and hence their anti-war stance. Once the dust settles, what is the future of Europe? Can Britain, Spain and Italy, bury their differences with France and Germany despite what in political terms will be called a minor-fallout but in real terms is a major rift between the five key members. Spain, Britain and Italy are backing the United States instead of their fellow European “brothers”. All this at a time when Europe should be a united front. Iraq has certainly been a test for European Union and so far it has failed. Failed because as usual member states are following their own national interests and policies. To talk of European Union at the moment is almost laughable. There are plenty of bridges to mend on both sides and the damage is enormous. In the same way as Iraq is a make or break situation for many institutions from NATO to the United Nations, it is also an important test for the European Union. I don't seriously believe that Aznar or Blair (if he is still in office) will ever forgive Chirac and to a lesser extent Gerhard Schroeder. To talk of a Europe of nations with common purposes and similar intentions is not realistic at the moment. The whole future of the European Union will need to be re-analysed.

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