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European leaders urge hesitant France to adopt EU constitution

[JURIST] Four current leaders [AP report] and a former European Commission president [AFP report] have this weekend urged French voters to adopt the new European constitution [backgrounder; full text] in a May 29 referendum, warning that rejection could have dire consequences, extending even to the "fall of Europe" as a major international player. A poll conducted Wednesday shows that 62% of French citizens now oppose the new pact. All 25 member EU nations must ratify it for it to be adopted. The new constitution was designed to streamline procedures and decision-making following the admittance of 10 new member countries last year. French opponents of the constitution are angry at their own government [Guardian report] for certain economic and social reforms, and also disagree with the proposed constitution's vision for Europe.

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