Coming to the rescue of President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski have urged the French to back the European Union constitution. France holds a referendum in ten days’ time. The latest opinion polls give the “No” campaign a slender lead.
Several national parliaments have already voted to ratify the constitution- Spain joined the list yesterday- but the EU treaty needs the approval of all 25 member states to take effect.
Gerhard Schroeder was playing to the home crowd. He said: “If we want to develop this Europe we need France above all, it’s no exaggeration to say it matters more than any other country. After World War Two all the ideas that have allowed the development of Europe have originated in France.” During their talks in the French town of Nancy, the trio also discussed negotiations on the EU’s 2007-2013 budget.