"More insular than ever" headlined Le Monde on what it called David Cameron's last bluff. After a long list of the many reasons the paper loves Britain – from habeas corpus and the BBC, to fish and chips and Liverpool Football Club – Paris's paper of record said France, Germany and other EU countries "were right to say no to London". "Fair play", the editorial read, the UK was not to blame for the eurozone mess. But there was a logic to the British standing apart from the move towards greater economic and budgetary integration: "They don't believe in the European idea. They are foreigners to this project." There should be no regrets for what happened in Brussels. At least all ambiguity had been lifted, the paper wrote. The British, who in 1973 joined what was then the European Economic Community, "are only interested in one thing: the single market". They're "indifferent, if not hostile" to the rest of the European project.
On the Nouvel Observateur website the political commentator Bruno Roger-Petit assessed the "storytelling" being built up in the French media of Super-Sarkozy saving the euro from the clutches of death in the face of Perfidious Albion. He wondered whether, despite the recent outrage over perceived "germanophobia" on the French left, "anglophobia" might now become all the rage.
The rightwing Le Figaro said Cameron's veto marked a "new era of isolation" for Britain in Europe. The paper's website opened a poll asking: "Does the UK still have a place in Europe?" The first comments below the line said General de Gaulle had predicted all this when he vetoed its application to join the common market.
Francesco Saraceno, an economist at Paris's OFCE observatory on economics told L'Expansion that the emergence of a two-speed Europe was "the only good news from this summit". Better integration was necessary, as was pressing on without those who blocked progress towards federalism. "There's no...