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4th Mar 2024

A French 'no' to EU constitution would mean the 'fall of Europe'

  • Romano Prodi presided over the Commission as the Constitution was being drawn up (Photo: European Commission)

Former European Commission president Romano Prodi has warned that a French No to the European Constitution would mean the "fall of Europe".

In an interview with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (24 April), Mr Prodi said that a French rejection of the document on 29 May would result in "no more Europe".

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"We will go through a great period of crisis. The problem will not only be a catastrophe for France, but the fall of Europe.

"A No would be catastrophic for Europe, from a social and economic point of view, not only political. And that is the whole contradiction: everybody knows very well that there is no Europe without France, yet France does not realise the chance it has with Europe. She should reflect on that because an isolated France would be very weak", said Mr Prodi who presided over the Commission during the making of the Constitution.

Mr Prodi's warning comes as consecutive polls in France have shown the No side to have the lead over the Yes camp.

French media report on the increasingly desperate air that surrounds the French government as it tries to rally the yes side.

The opposition Socialist Party, which was meant to be celebrating its centenary over the weekend, could only manage a muted affair as it is so preoccupied with the issue.

Former socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, who accused the party of lacking discipline over the weekend, is to appeal for a yes vote in a TV interview on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Germany, which faces ratification by parliament on 12 May, there has also been some opposition to the document.

According to German daily Die Welt, some 15 MEPs from the Bavaria-based CSU-faction are going to vote against the Constitution.

They say they are concerned about a shift in power from the national to the European level.

All 25 member states have to ratify the 465-article constitutional treaty by the end of October next year in order for it to come into force.

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