So the Irish, long taken for granted by the EU is finally being heard. The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Irish voters has topped the agenda on news sites around the world.
The Lisbon treaty was defeated by a margin of 53.4% to 46.6% with 752,451 people voting in favour and 862,415 against on a turn-out of 53.1%.
Just 10 of the 43 constituencies — Clare, Dublin South, Dublin South East, Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dún Laoghaire, Kildare North, Laois Offaly, Carlow Kilkenny and Meath East — voted in favour of the treaty. Dublin saw the closest result as the no side won by a knife-edge 51% to 49%.The capital also contained the constituency with the highest no vote (Dublin South West at just over 65%) and highest yes vote (Dún Laoghaire with 63.5%). The region with the biggest no vote was Connacht/Ulster, at 57%.
The London's Times Online is leading with Ireland's No vote to the treaty, which it claims has plunged the European Union into crisis.
News sites throughout Europe were leading with the latest on the referendum ahead of the official results. The Guardian said the rejection of the treaty had thrown "the entire project of reshaping the EU into turmoil" while the BBC’s online news service said the vote was "bound to undermine the bloc's public legitimacy and dent its confidence when it faces other big players on the world stage."
In Spain, El Pais headlined its top story with the words 'Ireland turns its back on the EU'. This is exactly how I knew people would try to spin it, as an us and against them type of story to make the Irish feel like they would be outcasts. Well news to the world, the Irish have been outcasts for centuries, they know how to handle that role.
In France, Liberation. Le Monde and others also lead with the Lisbon Treaty referendum story and the French President Sarkozy wants to push forward with the treaty anyway.
The websites of Germany's Bild and Der Spiegel newspapers are both providing close coverage of developments here, with Der Spiegel's top headline declaring that the Irish have blocked EU reform. "In a major setback for the European Union, Irish voters appeared on Friday to have rejected the Lisbon Treaty that was to replace the failed EU constitution," it said.
According to Radio Netherlands, the 'no' vote signals a crisis in the EU. While Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called the result disappointing, he said his government would press ahead with the ratification process and he refused to talk about a crisis, preferring to wait to hear from the Irish government during next week's EU summit.
The victory for the "no" camp means a country with fewer than 1% of the EU's 490 million population could wreck a treaty painstakingly negotiated over years by leaders of all 27 member states, the Melbourne Age said.
The referendum has also been in the headlines on some US news organisations with CNN online leading with the headline 'EU crisis looms with Irish 'no' vote', while the New York Times is quoting the Minister for Justice's comments on the likely outcome of the vote.
The Los Angeles Times is describing the situation as "a stunning setback to efforts to draft a modern new European constitution".