De Villepin lashes out at French 'no' polls

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, April 14 (AFP) - France's interior minister warned Thursday that Europe will be stuck with a "tricycle" rather than a "hot rod" racing machine if French voters reject an EU constitution in a crunch referendum next month.

BRUSSELS, April 14 (AFP) - France's interior minister warned Thursday that Europe will be stuck with a "tricycle" rather than a "hot rod" racing machine if French voters reject an EU constitution in a crunch referendum next month.

"With a no, there won't be anything left in the garage ... At best, there will be a tricycle," Dominique de Villepin said in an interview with Belgian mass market newspaper La Derniere Heure.

"With a yes, there will be a hot rod... It has to be admitted that it's better to get around with that," he said.

Since mid-March, more than a dozen opinion polls have indicated that French voters will reject the landmark treaty in the May 29 referendum.

The constitution, which aims to streamline decision-making in the expanded 25-member European Union, must be ratified by all member states. A rejection in France, one of the EU's largest countries, would effectively kill the treaty.

But Villepin refused to give in to pessimism saying: "A campaign has been under way for the last 15 days. After two months of explaining, one can hope that the French will vote in favour."

He dismissed the polls saying that they had "no rationality, and therefore no credibility".

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article