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Germany

Germany Hopes to Boots French EU Vote

Germany's lower house of parliament will ratify the European Union's new constitution weeks ahead of a French referendum on the text to help support a "yes" vote there, a ruling party official said Tuesday. Social Democrat (SPD) deputy Angelica Schwall-Dueren told the daily Berliner Zeitung that the Bundestag lower house wanted to ratify the treaty on May 12 to give psychological impetus to a "yes" vote in France on May 29. According to an opinion poll published at the weekend, 42 percent of French voters are preparing to vote "no" and their number is rising less than three months before the plebiscite. The treaty, which is aimed at streamlining the EU's institutions and decision-making processes with 25 member states, must be ratified in Germany by both houses of parliament with a two-thirds majority vote. The Bundesrat upper house, where the 16 states are represented, is expected to rubber stamp the treaty a few weeks after it passes through the Bundestag, which is dominated by the ruling SPD and its allies. Germany is among roughly half of the EU's member states which have chosen to submit the text to parliament for ratification, rather than a referendum. (AFP)