The French President made an impassioned speech broadcast on all the nation’s main channels, prime time, last night urging the country to vote yes in Sunday’s crucial referendum on the European constitution.
But will the 10 minute monologue be enough? The opinion of political analysts across the country this morning is, probably not. “Sunday is about Europe and the future of France in Europe,” Chirac told the nation. “It is an historic responsibility which involves us all. Let’s have confidence in ourselves, let’s make the choice of a strong France. On Sunday everyone of us will have a part of France’s destiny in our hands.” This morning, papers like the centre-right Le Figaro reported the speech in full. The left-wing Liberation spoke of Chirac’s ‘Last Stand for a yes vote’. Le Parisien said the broadcast was a sign of ‘panic at the presidential palace’. The anti-constitution L’humanité paid scant attention to Chirac. It is now just hours before campaigning finishes with polls still putting the no-camp ahead on 54 or 55 per cent. However, with as many as one in five voters still undecided, few are laying bets on the final outcome of a French referendum that could have serious consequences for the whole of Europe.