French 'non' will cause huge problem, says Poland

19th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

WARSAW, April 18 (AFP) - France will bear an "enormous responsibility" for halting European integration if it rejects the European constitution in a May 29 referendum, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Monday.

WARSAW, April 18 (AFP) - France will bear an "enormous responsibility" for halting European integration if it rejects the European constitution in a May 29 referendum, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Monday.

"If France says no, it will bear an enormous responsibility for having proposed and then finally rejected the treaty," Kwasniewski said in an interview with Polish state television.

"It would be a problem for Europe and for France," he said.

"This constitution was in large part written by the French," he added, noting that former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing headed the convention that drafted the constitutional treaty.

More than 15 opinion polls over the last month have shown that the "no" camp will win the French referendum on the European constitution with a majority of between 51 and 55 percent - an outcome which would have enormous repercussions inside both France and the European Union.

The latest French opinion poll, released late Monday, put opposition to the text, which aims to streamline decision-making in the expanded 25-member EU, at 55 percent.

"If it turns out that, after an eventual rejection by France, we have to renegotiate the treaty, the referendum in Poland would have to be pushed back," Kwasniewski said.

September 25 has been put forward as a possible date for a referendum in Poland on the EU constitution, but no hard and fast date has been set by parliament.

A recent survey in Poland showed that nearly two-thirds of Poles - 64 percent - back the EU constitution, with seven percent opposed to it and 29 percent undecided.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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