May 31, 2005

France's "Non" vote throws future of EU into doubt...

Sunday's devastating vote against ratification of the European Union Constitution by the a 56% majority in France may embolden other European nations to follow suit.

While EU leaders called for calm, the Netherlands is now lining up to voice their opposition as well. Polls indicate the rejection by the French has increased percentage of those Dutch citizens registering opposition.

A June 16-17 summit is certain to become a crisis meeting, as the leaders try to stop the "no" momentum ahead of other referendums this year in Luxembourg, Denmark and Portugal.

Nine countries, accounting for almost half the EU's population, have ratified the treaty, but all the members have to approve it for the constitution to gain the force of law.

Britain's Tony Blair speculated that a vote in his country may be post-poned for the time being.
"Underneath all this there is a more profound question, which is about the future of Europe and, in particular, the future of the European economy and how we deal with the modern questions of globalization and technological change," Mr. Blair told journalists during a vacation in Italy. Nine European Union members ratified the constitution before the French referendum.
Add that to a slide in the Euro v. the US Dollar over the last couple of days and things ain't lookin' too rosey on the Continent.

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