French poll shows 75pct against Turkey joining EU

12th October 2004, Comments 2 comments

PARIS, Oct 12 (AFP) - Three-quarters of the French are opposed to Turkey entering the European Union and would vote against it in a referendum, according to an opinion poll Tuesday in Liberation newspaper.

PARIS, Oct 12 (AFP) - Three-quarters of the French are opposed to Turkey entering the European Union and would vote against it in a referendum, according to an opinion poll Tuesday in Liberation newspaper.  

Taken after the European Commission's recommendation last week in favour of accession talks, the survey revealed France to be the most firmly hostile to Turkish membership of all the current 25 member states, the newspaper said.  

Overall 75.3 percent of those asked would vote no in a referendum, the poll found. Among supporters of President Jacques Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) the figure was 75 percent, and among supporters of the opposition Socialists it was 64 percent.  

Only among the youngest voters - aged 18 to 24 - was there a majority of 65.1 percent in favour.  

The survey was published two days before a debate in the national assembly called in response to growing pressure from parliamentarians for a chance to discuss the issue ahead of a final decision on starting Turkish accession talks expected from EU leaders on December 17.  

However, despite calls from many deputies the debate will not be followed by a vote.   Both of France's main parties are deeply split on the matter. Chirac has spoken in favour of Turkey's eventual membership, but he is opposed by many within the UMP including his arch-rival Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.  

Among the Socialists party leader Francois Hollande is in favour, but a large bloc of opponents is led by the former prime minister Laurent Fabius who said earlier this month that "Turkey is geographically not part of Europe."  

The main argument put forward by opponents of Turkish membership is that a country of 70 million inhabitants would block the EU's decision-making institutions and put paid for good to the dream of a politically-integrated Europe. The fact that Turkey is Muslim is also adduced, but less vocally.  

Supporters argue that the promise of Turkish membership is essential in order to bind the country to Europe and support a secular bulwark against the forces of radical Islam.  

Earlier this month Chirac said he was in favour of changing France's constitution so that a referendum must be held on future accessions to the EU, including Turkey's. Any EU country has a veto on new memberships, and in 1972 France voted in a referendum to allow in Britain, Ireland and Denmark.  

Chirac's call was seen as an attempt to separate the Turkish issue from the more pressing question of a referendum on the EU's new constitutional treaty, which France is due to hold in late 2005.  

The government fears the constitutional treaty could be rejected by the French public if the question of Turkish membership is still a live issue in a year's time.



Subject: French News

2 Comments To This Article


    on 5th April 2010, 21:10:08 - Reply

    For EU to forget what took place during the Moorish/Muslim invasion of Europe and our fore-fathers that has died so Christianity can flourish without chains on our month, hands and feet by our enemies. And this is how you pay your respects to our fallen Christian Knights of Europe. Of all of the people in EU, Spain should know better after 700 years War with the Moors 1400 hundred years ago and ended with Spain’s victory. Shame on you Spain for not backing up France to oppose Turkey joining the EU!!

    on 5th April 2010, 20:33:00 - Reply

    All EU members should support France 100% to opposed Turkey entering the European Union for many good reasons. May personal reason Turkey are not European nor Christians or have similar Culture and values. I vote NO! Against Turkey joining the EU forever!!
    U.S. America should stay out of EU affiars!