The Spanish referendum, little more than a week away, looks likely to produce a ‘yes’ result. Official survey says nine out of ten Spaniards do not really know what it is about, yet Madrid estimates some two thirds will cast a ballot and slightly more than half of those will be in favour of the charter.
Of the other countries planning referendums, Luxembourg has a firm date, but not France, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Portugal or Poland. The Czechs are not sure if they will have one. Britain aims to be last. Lithuania, Hungary and Slovenia’s parliaments have already approved the constitution. That is how most of the countries are going about ratifying it. Though the ruling Socialists in Spain and the main opposition Partido Popular are both backing the charter, there is a ‘no’ campaign here. The ‘no’ camp sees the treaty as a purely mercantile tract. The critics note that the word ‘market’ appears 78 times in the text while social progress is mentioned three times.