As French President Jacques Chirac rounds off his efforts to persuade the nation to back a referendum on the European Constitution. On the streets the foot soldiers of the ‘Yes’ camp are also working hard.
They are trying to convince doubters the constitution will create a more efficient Europe. But the ‘No’ camp is equally active, worried its supporters may relax in the face of 11 consecutive polls showing them ahead and not turn up on the day. As interviews show, there is still everything to play for with many French saying they could change their mind. One man told journalists he would vote no but when asked why he simply replied: “Because.” Another woman said she would vote yes but she did not know why yet. And another said: “It is not about us today but about the young tomorrow. They need a united Europe, a strong Europe to face America, China and India.” All this just three days before France has to make its choice. At the European parliament in Strasbourg, there is little doubt how most MEPs feel. They arrived in the chamber proudly waving ‘Oui’ signs. The constitution has to be ratified by all 25 member states to be enacted. So far eight countries have signed up. Sunday represents the first real danger that a member might reject it.