Chevenement speaking out

PARIS (Reuter) - Jean-Pierre Chevenement, the former defence minister, yesterday said he was resigning from the ruling Socialist Party's highest leadership body because of his opposition to the Maastricht treaty. He said he had written to party leader Laurent Fabius saying he was leaving the executive bureau to be free to speak out in the campaign for the country's 20 September referendum on EC political and monetary union.

'I am going to express myself as a citizen, not as a leader of the Socialist Party,' Mr Chevenement said.

He dismissed President Francois Mitterrand's warning that a French 'no' to Maastricht would break Europe, saying the continent was more robust.

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