French president urges positive vote on EU constitution

[JURIST] French media said Wednesday that the latest television appearance by French President Jacques Chirac [official bio] calling on voters to endorse the European constitution [official website; treaty text] was largely a success. Chirac participated in a televised town hall meeting [JURIST report] in April, but French commentators called the appearance a failure [JURIST report] after Chirac struggled to persuade young voters to support the EU constitution. Chirac's interview with French television Tuesday, where he described the text as "the best possible constitution for France," has been received more favorably. French press reports say that Chirac seemed more relaxed and his appearance was described as confident and effective. Chirac's television appearance comes after two polls indicated that "yes" votes are gaining ground [BBC report], though other polls still indicate that a majority of voters plan to reject the EU constitution in the May 29 referendum. Chirac appealed to voters Tuesday, saying that the constitution "is essentially of French inspiration," and that "You can't say 'I'm a European' and 'I'm voting no'." Read a full transcript (in French) of the interview, and watch recorded video. AFP has more. Le Figaro has local coverage.



 

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