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 Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dutch Also Say NO to EU Constitution

  Report from Deutsche Welle

3 June 2005

Dutch voters have overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution in a referendum on Wednesday.

The vote comes only days after France voted against it, plunging Europe deeper into a serious institutional crisis.

Voters came out in force for the Dutch referendum on the EU constitution on Wednesday, with a massive 63 percent against the treaty and only 37 percent backing it, according to exit polls. Turnout was estimated at a very high 62 percent.

The final turnout in the consultative referendum looked set to exceed by far the Dutch participation in the European Parliament elections last June, which had stood at 39.1 percent.

The turnout figure is pivotal because the Dutch parliament, which still has the final say on the constitution, has promised to follow the will of the people if it exceeds 30 percent.

Three days after a resounding French "no" to the constitution, the Dutch were taking part in the first referendum in the country's modern history, in what is expected to deal a second blow to the treaty by an EU founding member.

The first Dutch exit poll results point to an even greater win for the "no" camp than seen in France, where opponents took nearly 55 percent of the vote.

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