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Europe

Finnish Minister Suggests EU Poll in 2006

Finnish Justice Minister Johannes Koskinen wants to combine a referendum on the EU constitution with the next Finnish presidential election to save costs.

If Finland is to decide on the new EU Constitution by referendum, then the poll could be held together with the next Finnish presidential elections in 2006, the Finnish Minister of Justice Johannes Koskinen suggested. Holding a referendum together with another election would reduce the costs from some €12 million ($14.6 million) to just a few thousand euros, the minister said. Koskinen also opted for Finland to introduce a binding referendum. At present, the legislation only allows for advisory polls. As well as Finland there are ten other EU member states intending to hold polls: Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal and the UK. (Euobserver.com)

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