Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Deutsche Welle waxes pessimistic With the announcement that Spain and Portugal are both to hold referenda on the Constitution it gets harder for France and others (Poland, the Netherlands) to say no.
However the feeling that these two countries joining the referenda game makes it more likely that the Constitution will fall is, I fear not the case.
Both the Iberian nations have significantly pro-European majorities, fattened up by subsidy since 1986 when they joined the European bean fiesta that is the EU. In which case a couple of resounding Yes votes will have the beneficial - to some - effect of increasing the Yes momentum. If the sceptical countries such as the Scandics and the UK all hold there referenda at the end of the alloted period (2006) and the pros all at the beginning (now till the end of 2005) then all the tiered old arguements about trains and issing them will be withdrawn from the cliche cabinet.
However the statement made by Atlanticist and possible Commission president Barroso strengthen the case against Mr Blair and his attitude to the whole shebang.
"I have always said a referendum should be held if two conditions are in place: firstly, if there is a new constitutional treaty, and secondly, if that treaty brings truly new and relevant matters for the future relationship between Portugal and Europe," he told reporters. "Those two conditions have been met."