Chirac to make last-ditch TV appeal for EU treaty

23rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 23 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will address the nation on Thursday in a last-minute bid to sway sceptical voters to approve the EU constitution in a weekend referendum, his office announced Monday.

PARIS, May 23 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will address the nation on Thursday in a last-minute bid to sway sceptical voters to approve the EU constitution in a weekend referendum, his office announced Monday.  

Chirac's speech at 8:00 pm will be broadcast live by all television and radio stations wishing to carry it, the Elysee said.  

With less than a week to go before the French vote Sunday on the EU treaty, a string of opinion polls released over the past week have shown the "no" camp in the lead, but the race is far from over, with many voters still undecided.  

Chirac has staked his personal prestige on approval of the landmark EU charter, which aims to simplify decision-making in the expanded 25-member European Union.  

His ruling centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) is campaigning for the constitution alongside the opposition Socialists (PS) and Greens.  

The "no" camp is made up of parties on the far-left and far-right, nationalist Eurosceptics and a handful of UMP and PS dissidents.  

Chirac's first television appearance in defence of the EU constitution before a group of 80 young adults in April was widely perceived as unconvincing, but he earned high marks for a TV interview earlier this month.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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