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Chirac struggles to keep EU constitution hopes alive in France as Sunday vote looms

[JURIST] Despite the recent campaign [JURIST report] by French President Jacques Chirac [official profile] to push the European Union constitution [text], thirteen successive polls indicate that the majority of French voters will vote "no" to the charter in a referendum this Sunday. While all 25 member countries must approve the constitution by either referendum or parlimentary vote, EU officials said that a French rejection would not necessarily spell death to the agreement if it was by a narrow margin. Chirac has warned that failure to approve the constitution "Would open a period of divisions, of doubts, of uncertainties" and be seen by Europeans as a "no to Europe"; he made a final TV pitch [official transcript} for the constitution Thursday. Socialist former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius [Wikipedia profile] has campaigned strongly for the "no" vote, stating that the constitution would create a European super-state that would swallow France, and is encouraging those opposed to the agreement to vote Sunday. Reuters has more.

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