PM: no campaigners are lying

28th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Campaigners for a 'no' vote in the Dutch referendum on the adoption of the European Union Constitution are spreading falsehoods about the EU and its charter, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has claimed.

28 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — Campaigners for a 'no' vote in the Dutch referendum on the adoption of the European Union Constitution are spreading falsehoods about the EU and its charter, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has claimed.

Balkenende said in a long letter published on Thursday in newspaper 'De Telegraaf' that it is "untrue" that the constitution opens the door for Turkey to join the EU.

The Christian Democrat CDA leader said he believed opponents of the constitution were "pulling out all stops" to build support for opposition to the 25-member European Union's constitution.

Back in February when 1 June was set as the date for a non-binding referendum on the EU constitution, Balkenende's centre-right coalition government decided against an active pro campaign unless opponents mounted a serious campaign for a no vote.

Balkenende has been stung into action following an opinion poll earlier this week that indicated 58 percent of the public intended to vote no.

He said in Thursday's letter that he hoped many Dutch people will take the opportunity to vote in the referendum.

"Good information is, therefore, a prerequisite, because a lot of ghost stories are doing the rounds in relation to Europe and the constitution," he said.

The prime minister said the new charter laid the groundwork for better teamwork and co-operation within the EU, without giving EU bureaucrats in Brussels more power.

"Even the biggest critics of the European Union cannot deny that European co-operation has brought us peace, prosperity and security. The European Union works," he wrote.

The prime minister also said it is untrue that the constitution will lead to higher defence costs or that it will be bad for the wellbeing of animals, as claimed by Dutch animal rights party PvdD.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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