May 1, 2005

French May Yet Approve EU Constitution

The Guardian (UK) reports that Jacques Chirac has made some progress in turning around what would have been a devastating loss in the upcoming plebescite to approve the new EU constitution. Polling now indicates that the French favor the constitution by a slim but unstable margin, with many who now support it saying they may change their minds:

Opinion polls out this weekend show for the first time that a majority of French people intend to vote in favour of the European draft constitution next month.

The two surveys, carried out for Le Monde and the Journal du Dimanche, found that 52 per cent supported the draft constitution and 48 per cent opposed it.

But a large proportion said they might still change their minds ahead of the 29 May referendum - 24 per cent in the Le Monde poll and 30 per cent in the other survey.

However, with French unemployment now over 10% and the government pressing for further labor reforms to bring France into a market-based economy, that lead looks short-lived. As the Guardian notes, today's May Day celebrations of labor will undoubtedly include protests over the loss of a holiday on May 16th, which precedes the referendum by less than a fortnight. Many French workers see the new constitution as a further threat to employment as industries will have an expanded ability to relocate to other European locales where the labor force doesn't expect 32-hour work weeks and the entire month of August as a holiday.

Even more interesting is the polling from the Netherlands, which the French see as a bellwether EU nation. The referendum for ratification takes place on June 1 for the Dutch, and so far the measure looks to be heading for a resounding defeat, with 58% voting no. That may let the French off the hook, as the constitution must have universal approval among all EU nations. If the French see a defeat upcoming in the Netherlands, they may decide that a yes vote carries little risk of immediate application, while maintaining French influence on EU politics. The Socialists are also using British opposition to the constitution as a reason to vote for approval, appealing to traditional Franco-British tensions.

In the end, I'd expect this to squeak by in Paris, but that hardly represents a resounding endorsement of Chirac's EU policy.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference French May Yet Approve EU Constitution:

» Bride Got Cold Feet - Pleasebangmywife from PornPeddler's Porn Blog
I guess you all have heard about the bride that got cold feet and faked her own kidnapping this week, Jennifer Wilbanks. Here is a poster which I found funny: Damn dude, with those crazy eyes they should have seen this shit coming a mile away. Seein... [Read More]

» air bag suspension replacements from air bag suspension replacements
Santarchy is not a movement, that\'s what you do in the bathroom. In addition to that, the annual Santacon events are not a protest against Christmas or commercialization. Really, it\'s just a bunch of santas getting together to have a good time. [Read More]

Please note that unverified Disqus users will have comments held in moderation. Please visit Disqus to register and verify your account. Comments from verified users will appear immediately.