Source Pravda.Ru

UN Constitution: if French voters say "no"

French president &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/12/26365.html ' target=_blank>Jacques Chirac said on Tuesday there was not the slightest chance that the European Union's (EU) constitution could be renegotiated if French voters say "no" to the text in a May 29 referendum.

Chirac, who was speaking in an interview on France-2 television, said the treaty enshrines France's values of human rights and democracy.

He called it the "daughter" of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/10/05/17161.html ' target=_blank>1789 French Revolution.

Chirac added that "it is essentially French-inspired" and that it was the "best possible" choice for France adding that France would be weakened if voters oppose the treaty.

Chirac has staked considerable prestige on getting the treaty approved but also has said he will not step down if the "no" campaign wins.

European lawmakers have been rallying around Chirac's cause in recent weeks. All 25 EU members must approve the treaty for it to take effect, and a rejection by founding member France could spur "no" votes elsewhere and damage plans to unify the bloc, informs ND TV.

A French rejection would halt the process of ratification altogether, because it would have been rejected by one of the founding member states.