Content Section

The Content section will provide news, quotes and background materials refering to the topic of the EU Constitution. The time-table will give you an overview about the current status concerning the referendums on the Constitution.

 

Luxembourg is flirting with the idea of voting No


Until a couple of weeks ago the idea that the people of Luxembourg might vote No to the draft European constitution was not just far fetched, it was risible.

Yet even here in the Grand Duchy, the tiny country which by some yardsticks has done better out of the European Union than any other, polls show opposition to the constitution rising fast.

A Luxembourg No in its July 10 referendum would be a humiliation for the European project that would end all talk of keeping the document alive through the ballot box.

In an attempt to concentrate the voters' minds, Jean-Claude Juncker, the popular prime minister, has reaffirmed a vow to resign if they vote No.
But, as in France and Holland, ordinary voters seem unmoved by their rulers' rhetoric. A poll last Thursday showed the No vote at 38 per cent, up six points, with the Yes camp at 46 per cent.

Such scepticism is all the more remarkable as, with a mere 460,000 inhabitants, Luxembourg is not just well installed on the European gravy train, it has its own terminus. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, it is, by a huge margin, the largest per capita recipient of funds from the EU budget.

Only one party in parliament, the Right-wing populist ADR, has come out against the constitution.

Its leader, Gast Giberyen, has only five MPs, and 2,100 members. But his campaign for a "Europe of nations, not a European state," has struck a chord with Luxembourgers, worried about losing their influence and identity after the EU's expansion to 25.
"It's true that for 50 years, we have been winners from Europe," said Mr Giberyen, a bearded former steelworker. "But the enlargement of Europe has been too rapid."
The Dutch and French No votes have emboldened his compatriots, who were too afraid to speak out, he said.
"Even me, if all the other 24 EU countries were sure to vote Yes, I wouldn't have the courage to ask Luxembourgers to vote No - we're too small. But now, we're not alone any more."

© Telegraph

  


A poll last Thursday showed the No vote at 38 per cent, up six points, with the Yes camp at 46 per cent.