French Referendum: Ratification fights ahead

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The Independent Online
FOUR EC states have ratified the Maastricht treaty on European union, and one has rejected it.

Belgium: Treaty approved in July by lower house and goes to the Senate for likely approval next month. 'New efforts are needed to reduce the lack of accountability in the process of European union,' Jean-Luc Dehaene, the Prime Minister, said yesterday.

Britain: A bill to ratify the treaty passed its key legislative stage in May, but was put on hold following Denmark's rejection.

Denmark: Voters narrowly rejected the accord on 2 June. 'I think it should now be easier for Denmark to obtain a special arrangement . . . The European landscape today is totally different from what it was in early June,' said the Foreign Minister, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.

France: Voters narrowly approved the accord yesterday.

Germany: 'The positive result of the French referendum, even if it was narrow, will give the European integration process a new boost in the other member states,' Helmut Kohl said. Parliament will open debate early next month. Prospects are uncertain.

Greece: 'I want to express to the French people a warm thank you from the Greek people,' said Constantine Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister. Parliament ratified on

1 August.

Ireland: became the first to approve accord on 18 June.

Italy: 'I breathed a sigh of relief,' said Giuliano Amato, the Prime Minister. Government intends to submit treaty to Parliament shortly. Approval is expected.

Luxembourg: Parliament approved treaty on 2 July.

Netherlands: Government submitted treaty to parliament on

3 June.

Portugal: Treaty due to go to Parliament next month. Approval expected.

Spain: Lower house of parliament approved a change in the constitution, paving way for acceptance of treaty. Treaty must now be ratified by both houses of parliament.

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