Schroeder rules out EU constitution referendum

17th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 December 2004 , BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has ruled out a referendum in the country on the new European Constitution. Opinion in Germany has been in flux since Britain and France announced they would be handing the decision directly to the people. The constitution must be ratified by the 25 EU member states by the end of October 2006. Schroeder, before leaving Berlin for Friday's EU summit in Brussels, noted that Germany's lower chamber of parliament had begun the ratification procedu

17 December 2004

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has ruled out a referendum in the country on the new European Constitution.

Opinion in Germany has been in flux since Britain and France announced they would be handing the decision directly to the people. The constitution must be ratified by the 25 EU member states by the end of October 2006.

Schroeder, before leaving Berlin for Friday's EU summit in Brussels, noted that Germany's lower chamber of parliament had begun the ratification procedure last month and the issue would next go to the upper chamber, the Bundesrat, which represenst the nation's states.

The German constitution has no provision for referendums, but Schroeder's government had recently been pushing for change, despite reluctance among the opposition Christian Democrats who control most state governments.

Only the Christian Social Union (CSU) government of Bavaria has shown any keenness on a referendum. In an indication that the premiers had asked for the issue to be dropped, Schroeder said he was no longer expecting any plebiscite on the issue.

DPA

Subject: German news

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