Spain to go to pollsfor Euro referendum
5 October 2004, MADRID- Spain's government is to set next 20 February as the date for a popular referendum on a European Union constitution, the foreign ministry announced Tuesday.
5 October 2004
MADRID- Spain's government is to set next 20 February as the date for a popular referendum on a European Union constitution, the foreign ministry announced Tuesday.
The date is in line with plans by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to make Spain the first of the 25 member-states to adopt the constitution.
A broad consensus had been achieved on the date during a Monday meeting between Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and members of the Spanish upper and lower houses of parliament, a foreign ministry statement said.
Consensus was also achieved on the question to be put to the public, which would be: "Do you approve the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe?"
The foreign ministry statement confirmed a report which appeared Tuesday in the Spanish daily El Pais.
The government will set forth its position formally on 18 October before a mixed commission on Europe comprising members of the congress and senate, the statement said.
The next step will be for cabinet to adopt plans to give notice of the referendum. Under Spanish law notice must be given between 30 and 120 days before the actual vote, diplomatic sources said.
The referendum will be only consultative, they said. A new constitution would have to be ratified by parliament.
Parliamentary approval appears assured since the major parties all favour the new constitution.
Zapatero recently expressed the hope that a massive yes-vote would show his country was in the front rank of building Europe, and had "returned to the heart of Europe."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news