The Sterling Crisis: The voters give their verdict on the new Europe: Straw poll in France

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The Independent Online
With the outcome still in the balance, voters offer their views on the eve of the French referendum:

Dan Mosczytz, Manager of the George V Hotel, Paris

'I will vote 'yes'. I believe in Europe, for it exists already. I'm one of the new breed of Europeans . . . but that does not mean I'm not a real Frenchman: I like good wine and good cheese and sitting on a terrace . . . but I believe that Europe must be a single unit successfully to counteract Asia.

'. . . It is not necessary to have borders decided in 1848. One needs to concentrate on regions which are related to culture and which can be respected and tolerated by each other.'

Jacques Verges, Klaus Barbie's lawyer

'I will definitely vote 'no'. I am not in agreement that any nation should be dissolved into faceless regions. I do not accept rule by anonymous bureaucrats in Brussels who are purely nominated rather than elected. Maastricht is a federal treaty. I am all in favour of a confederation, but not a federation, where you are trapped and unable to leave except by declaring war, as in the case of the US War of Secession or the present fighting in Yugoslavia.'

Paul Bocuse, Chef/restaurateur

'I am voting 'yes', principally because I was a child of the Second World War and never wish to see such a war in Europe again. I believe that Maastricht and the EC can prevent this by promoting co- operation between states like France and Germany, which have a tradition of conflict. It would, of course, also be good for my industry as a whole.'

Martine X, of Euro Disney

'Of course I'm going to vote, and I'm voting 'yes'. It's far too important an issue to ignore. All my friends are in favour of Maastricht and will vote 'yes' as well.'

'Ammy', nom de guerre of a Barmaid at the Crazy Horse Saloon

'I will vote 'yes'. I feel Europe is the best thing that can ever happen, for me and for everyone. I don't feel French at all, I feel European. I have worked in many European countries and believe in a unified Europe, where I can live wherever I want to.'

Louis Feraud, Couturier

'I have decided to vote 'yes' to simplify friendships]'

Gilbert Collard, President of the EC Commission on Human Rights

'I have decided to vote 'no' because I feel that the ratifying of the Maastricht Treaty will, in the long term, be of great detriment to Europe.'

An anonymous gendarme

'I am not able to comment, because the police service in France is strictly apolitical. But I can tell you that my wife is insistent on voting 'no', because she considers herself French as opposed to European and is afraid that she will lose her identity.'

Gerard Depardieu's agent emphasised that his client 'would not and could not comment on Maastricht'.

Jean-Michel Jarre's manager said Mr Jarre's private life was private.

Philippe Olivier, master cheesemonger of Boulogne, did not want to 'jeopardise his position in the community' by announcing how he would vote.

(Photograph omitted)

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