German chancellor backs Chirac endorsement of EU constitution

[JURIST] On a visit to France Tuesday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [official site, in German] voiced support for a call by French President Jacques Chirac [official site, in English] for French citizens to ratify the new EU Constitution [official site]. Current polls indicate that French voters will reject the constitution when a national referendum occurs on May 29. Speaking at a news conference in Paris, Schroeder warned that voting down the constitution would "weaken, not strengthen, the power of the Europeans." The constitution requires ratification by all 25 EU members before it can be implemented. The latest polls conducted by Ipsos [official site] say that 52% of voters are opposed to ratification. French citizens cite rampant unemployment as grounds for opposition, as EU enlargement allows foreigners to poach French jobs. Voters in Germany will not have the chance to vote on the EU treaty, which will instead be decided by parliament with votes in May. Spain was the first country to approve the EU constitution by referendum [JURIST report], with 77 percent voting in favor in February. Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and Slovenia have also backed the constitution. Bloomberg News has more. The EU provides a concise table of EU contries and their ratification status.



 

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