Thursday

3rd Dec 2020

France says no to Christianity in Constitution

Despite strong lobbying from the Vatican and representatives of the Orthodox Church in Europe, the preamble of the draft treaty establishing the Constitution for Europe - produced by the European Convention in June - has resisted any reference to Christianity.

France along with Turkey are the main countries contending such a reference.

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"France is a lay state and as such she does not have a habit of calling for insertions of a religious nature into constitutional texts", the French President told reporters at a visit in Quintos de Moro where he met Spanish Prime Minister, José Maria Aznar.

"The lay character of French institutions does not allow them to accept a religious reference" in a domestic or EU constitution, Mr Chirac concluded.

Several countries, Italy, Spain and Poland among them, have backed the idea of having a reference to Christianity included in the Constitution.

Warsaw intends to raise this issue in its four-point strategy for the Intergovernmental Conference which begins next month in Rome.

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