Despite Sarkozy's UMP ramming though the changes by a vote of 560 to 181, 152 deputies abstained, provoking a warning from Emmanuelli that, "Sarkozy thinks he is above the sovereignty of the people."
Nevertheless, reports Deutsche Welle, the Assembly plans to vote on Thursday to adopt the treaty itself, followed by the Senate and a final ratification by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
This is in the teeth of a recent survey which showed that a significant majority of French adults wanted a referendum on the treaty. Opposition socialist deputies - while approving of the Lisbon Treaty itself - abstained from voting in protest and several hundred people staged a demonstration, demanding a new referendum.
While the French were voting, so too was the Romanian parliament, which almost unanimously ratified the treaty - a total of 387 members of parliament and senators voting for it. Only one voted against and one abstained.
One would dearly like to think Henri Emmanuelli is right – throughout Europe, the "colleagues" are turning their faces against their own peoples, and there surely must be a price to pay.