28 June 2004
MADRID — Two thirds of Spaniards believe Spain should hold a referendum on the proposed new European Constitution, according to an opinion poll published Monday.
The Centre for Sociological Investigations (CIS), an authoritative research body, said 66 percent of those polled said that a vote should be held before Spain agrees to supporting the new agreement.
It comes after prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero last week promised to hold a referendum on the issue within a year.
The CIS poll also asked Spaniards how they felt about the European Union itself.
Sixty percent said they felt “above all Spanish”, while only 6.9 percent of respondents said that they felt Europeans.
Over a quarter, or 27 percent of those polled, said that they felt “European and Spanish at the same time”.
Respondents were asked how they thought the government of former prime minister José María Aznar had defended Spanish interests during his eight-year term.
Thirty-two percent said the Popular Party leader had done well for Spain, and 16 percent said Aznar’s government had not defended Spain’s interests.
But 45 percent of respondents said they believed Zapatero would defend Spanish interests well in Europe. Only 3.8 percent disagreed with this and said he would harm the country’s interests.
The new EU constitution, agreed by 25 EU leaders last week, must win approval in each member state either by a vote in parliament or by public referendum.
The constitution sets out the powers of the national governments of the member states and the EU’s various institutions as well as a charter of fundamental rights.
It also details how the union will conduct a wide range of internal and foreign policies, especially since the EU grew to 25 members when 10 new countries joined on 1 May.
Most other EU countries have also decided to hold referendums.
[EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news