Tuesday, April 27, 2004

French want a referendum

Sources: AP Worldstream and EU Observer.

At least we have something in common with the French – the French people, that is. According to a CSA poll released today, some 74 percent want a referendum on the EU constitution, instead of letting parliament make the decision. Only 24 percent felt the French parliament should decide.

Chirac has already said he is undecided on this issue – despite giving an election pledge that he would hold a referendum – but with Valery Giscard d'Estaing also speaking out in favour today, the pressure on the president is building.

Giscard, in particular, makes an especially powerful point, when he argues that all Constitutions that have been adopted in France have been adopted by referendum". On that basis, he concludes that "to consult the French people on this subject is a reasonable and positive risk and it is right to take it".

Giscard himself may not be taking too much of a risk. According to the CSA poll, in which 956 voters were interviewed by telephone, 57 percent of those responding would back the constitution. Only 25 percent would oppose it, while 18 percent would abstain.

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