Poles May Call Referendum on Constitution | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 28.04.2004
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Poles May Call Referendum on Constitution

Poland may call a referendum on the European Constitution, according to President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said: "Can the Constitution be sold in Poland? I think yes. In my view we can turn to public opinion, which is strongly in favour of the European Union." However Kwasniewski felt it was doubtful whether parliament could marshal the necessary two-thirds support to endorse the Constitution. The Polish president also stressed that his country, which for so long held out against a new voting system in the Constitution, is now willing to compromise. Poland would be prepared to compromise if the new Constitution allowed an "emergency brake" mechanism, under which the new voting system could be set aside for issues of vital national importance. "The proposed safety elements, in my opinion, could be enough for Polish public opinion," Kwasniewski said. Meanwhile in other countries the pressure to hold a referendum is also high. A survey conducted by the CSA institute in France found that 74 percent of those asked were in favour of a referendum. The Constitution has to be approved by all 25 member states for it to come into force. (EUobserver.com)

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