Bundestag set to easily approve EU constitution

11th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 May 2005, BERLIN - Germany's parliament is expected overwhelmingly to approve the European Union constitution on Thursday with the support of both government and opposition parties.

11 May 2005

BERLIN - Germany's parliament is expected overwhelmingly to approve the European Union constitution on Thursday with the support of both government and opposition parties.

The Bundestag, parliament's lower chamber, will easily muster the required two-thirds majority, members of the chamber say. Only a few opposition conservatives plan to vote against the constitution.

Easy approval for the treaty is also on track in the parliament's upper house, the Bundesrat, which votes on 27 May.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder declined to put the European Union constitution up for a national referendum, saying there was no legal basis for such a vote under German law.

Berlin hopes its green light for the EU constitution will boost chances for the treaty's approval in France which is holding a hotly contested referendum on 29 May.

After weeks of showing public opinion set against the treaty, French opinion polls now show a neck and neck race.

However, there are growing fears that the Netherlands, which holds an EU constitution referendum on 1 June, may reject the treaty. Latest polls give the 'no' vote in Holland 42 percent, compared with 38 percent for those planning to vote in favour of the constitution.

All 25 EU member states must approve the constitution in order for it to come into force.

Rejection of the treaty by a core EU founder state such as France or the Netherlands would likely plunge the Union into a prolonged crisis, analysts say.

DPA

Subject: German news

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