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We arrived to Paris on May 28, a day before the referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty. As we walked through Paris next day we saw the city plastered with posters, both “Oui” and “Non”. A a general rule “Oui” posters were sappy and vague, e.g. featuring a starry-eyed girl and a slogan “Europe deserves you ‘OUI’!” “Non” posters varied from anti-globalization (arguing that the Treaty will mean the end of the “social” state in France) to xenophobic (suggesting that the Treaty will pave the way for Turkish membership), but in general seemed to be much poignant. What I found surprising, however, was the number of books dedicated to this topic available in the bookstores. One of the book stores we passed had a “yes” and a “no” poster in the window, with a third one between them saying “Understand the issue befor you vote!” with a several dozen books on the topic piled stacked underneath.

On Monday, the 55% “no” vote was announced which made all the starry-eyed “oui” posters seem even sillier.