France against Christian tag in EU constitution

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 26 (AFP) - France opposes changing the draft text of an EU constitution to include a reference to Christianity, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Wednesday.

PARIS, May 26 (AFP) - France opposes changing the draft text of an EU constitution to include a reference to Christianity, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Wednesday.

Barnier told the National Assembly in Paris that as it stands the proposed constitution "is a balanced and fair text."

"France continues to believe that we should stick with what is there, because anyone can recognise him or herself in the text whatever their belief, religion or philosophy," he said.

Seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia -- last week asked for a reference to Christianity to be included in the constitution.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin cast doubt on the French position on Monday when he said Paris was not hostile to a reference to Christianity as long as there was consensus.

On Tuesday Barnier said that Europe was not a "Judaeo-Christian club."

"Even if the word secularity means different things in different countries, it remains the case that this European construction is a secular construction, which respects the traditions and religions of each people," he said.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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