French opposition to EU charter drops in latest poll

21st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 20 (AFP) - A majority of French voters still say they will vote against the European constitution in a May 29 referendum, but support for the 'no' camp seems to be waning, according to an opinion poll released Wednesday.

PARIS, April 20 (AFP) - A majority of French voters still say they will vote against the European constitution in a May 29 referendum, but support for the 'no' camp seems to be waning, according to an opinion poll released Wednesday.

The survey conducted by the CSA institute, to appear Thursday in Le Parisien newspaper, put the 'no' camp at 52 percent - a drop of four percentage points as compared with the last poll carried out by the same organisation.

Nevertheless, the poll was the 20th in a row over the past month to indicate that French voters could reject the landmark constitutional treaty in the May referendum.

Such an outcome would have enormous repercussions in both France and the European Union.

The constitution is meant to simplify decision-making in the expanded EU but it must first be adopted by all 25 member states. A rejection in so important a country as France would throw the whole process into confusion.

Rejection of the text is seen as the by-product of a widespread social malaise in France, feeding on high unemployment, fears of competition from foreign low-cost economies, and a chronic mistrust of politicians in Paris.

The French are also wary of Turkey's possible entry into the bloc, but President Jacques Chirac - who has staked his prestige on a 'yes' vote - has tried to convince voters that the two issues are separate.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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