French referendum: 'Being in favour is the most coherent choice'

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The Independent Online

"It's so complex and has been so badly explained here that it's difficult for someone who isn't actively engaged in politics to understand. I haven't read the treaty or extracts but I've watched debates ... which have just seemed to be a chance for politicians to settle scores on less important matters."

JEAN-PIERRE MYRLANDE, Museum Secretary (Undecided)

"It's so complex and has been so badly explained here that it's difficult for someone who isn't actively engaged in politics to understand. I haven't read the treaty or extracts but I've watched debates ... which have just seemed to be a chance for politicians to settle scores on less important matters."

ROMAIN POLLAS, Sculptor (Yes)

"A 'no' vote would do nothing to help unite European countries and strengthen our position in the world. I'm worried about the lack of attention to social issues in the constitution. But the philosopher Toni Negri convinced me that voting in favour will be the most coherent choice for a pro-European."

FRANCIS JOUBAULT, Picture Restorer (No)

"France simply isn't ready to enter into this constitution. Maybe in five or 10 years time, but not now. There are too many problems which need to be addressed before we can commit ourselves. Turkey's entrance into the EU is a worry. As long as I have my doubts I would rather vote 'no'."

MARIE-JOSE BOBET, Administrator (No)

"Voting against the treaty is a small act of personal rebellion. I've tried to read the text but I have to confess that I can't make head nor tail of it. I've had enough of the divisions over the 'yes' of the left and of the right. Perhaps it's rash to vote 'no' but I'm going to do it all the same."

MATHIEU LE NIR, Recruitment consultant (Yes)

"I'm in favour of greater social cohesion in Europe so I will definitely vote 'yes'. I don't think there will be any second chances on this treaty if we vote against it. People will vote 'no' because of general discontent with Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government."

JACQUES STEINBERG, Retired (No)

"I find the treaty unsuitable politically and economically. I worked long and hard in the textile industry and the current situation concerning cheap imports from China is something I feel very strongly about. I don't think the treaty will protect French workers. The idea of the 'Polish plumber' ... gives me real cause for worry."

NICOLAS PEHARGUE, Job seeker (Yes)

"France owes a lot to Europe. When the euro was first brought in there were plenty of people against it but it worked out. Opening up the borders ... is also a good thing. As for allowing foreign workers to steal French jobs, I think China is a far greater economic threat and the best way to combat it is through a new constitution."

MARIE-JOSE DESSOLAS, Teacher (Yes)

"This treaty was negotiated between 15 countries so obviously France had a large say in its content. If we refuse it, we will have to negotiate with an enlarged group of 25 countries which could only weaken our influence. I'm extremely pro-European and I have absolutely no doubts or fears about voting in favour."

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