Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Author of EU constitution blasts French Yes campaign.

EU: Valéry Giscard d'Estaing blames Chirac's government.

"Just days before France holds its referendum on the European treaty on May 29, polls show an almost daily increase in the No vote. Paris Match, the weekly magazine, on Tuesday published a survey showing 54 per cent against the treaty. In an interview with Les Echos, the French financial newspaper, Mr Giscard d'Estaing said France's political leaders were "used to the idea of Europe", but he said they were not deeply motivated by it. "When we meet difficulties they often blame Europe. So how can we be surprised then that the French have a bad idea of Europe?" he asked. Mr Giscard d'Estaing said it would have been better for politicians to stay out of the campaign, leaving academics, business and the media to do the job. "We know that in France referendums almost automatically slide towards becoming plebiscites [on the government]. It would have been better for the public powers to keep their distance, to avoid that temptation."

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