Germany ratifies EU constitution
BERLIN: Germany became the ninth country to ratify the EU constitution on Friday in a move designed to help the flagging “yes” campaign in France ahead of this weekend’s referendum.
The upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the treaty by 66 votes out of a possible 69 with three abstentions. Germany followed Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain in approving the text.
All 25 EU member states must approve the constitution before it can take effect. German political leaders have expressed grave concerns about the consequences of a “no” vote in France, which is the other half of the so-called motor of European integration. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told the upper house that if the constitution was rejected it would make the continent “weaker” and hinder its ability to compete in an increasingly globalised world. afp