Royal spells out plans for new EU referendum

6th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 5, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal spelled out her plans to submit a new European constitution to the vote in France by 2009 in an interview published on Monday.

PARIS, March 5, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal spelled out her plans to submit a new European constitution to the vote in France by 2009 in an interview published on Monday.

Speaking ahead of talks Tuesday in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Royal told Le Monde newspaper she would call for a rewrite to make the treaty acceptable to French voters, who rejected an initial draft in 2005.

"Rather than talk of a constitution, let's call it a treaty," she suggested, calling for a "review" of the draft's contested Part III, which was attacked in France for appearing to set in stone the rules of free market economics.

Instead, Royal called for a chapter on "new policies, social progress, public services and the environment" that could pave the way for new European rights, such as to healthcare or a decent income.

"When we manage to reduce unemployment, when Europe proves that it can protect itself against the destructive and illegal rules of global trade and outsourcing, then people will start to view it differently," she said.

She said the new text should be put to a referendum before the European parliament elections in June 2009, saying she was "optimistic" over its chances of success.

Royal argued that she was well-placed to persuade French voters to back a new text, pointing out that her campaign team includes figures who spearheaded the "No" camp in 2005, such as former prime minister Laurent Fabius.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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