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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June, 2005, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Danes rethink EU referendum plan
Per Stig Moeller
Per Stig Moeller wants a clear advice on the future of the treaty
Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller has suggested that his country's referendum on the EU constitution may be called off.

Danes had been due to take part in a legally binding vote on 27 September, but the re-think follows the French and Dutch rejection of the treaty.

Mr Moeller said he did not expect EU leaders meeting this week to give a clear answer on the fate of the text.

The charter has been ratified by 10 of the 25 member states so far.

EU foreign ministers have been discussing the EU budget and constitution in Luxembourg ahead of the leaders' summit later this week.

Mr Moeller told reporters: "The conversations I had don't convince me we will get a clear answer.

"We want clarity that it is this treaty, nothing more or less, on which we will vote on 27 September, and if there is no clarity on that, because various processes are started which in principle could change it, then you cannot hold a vote."

Opinions turn

Ireland has confirmed plans to hold its referendum on the EU constitution despite the resounding "No" votes in France and the Netherlands.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has told the UK Parliament there was "no point" in pursuing plans for a UK referendum after the French and Dutch "No".

Poland and Portugal have said they will stick to their plans to hold referendums on the constitution.

The constitution has to be ratified by all 25 member states to enter into force.

Opinion polls since the French and Dutch "No" votes suggest the Danish public has been turning against the constitution.

A Gallup poll gave the "No" side 38%, against 34% for the "Yes" side. A poll by the same agency in May had the "No" side on 25%, compared with 45% for the "Yes" side.

Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 but adopted it in a second vote, after winning opt-outs, in 1993. Danes also voted "No" in a 2000 referendum on acceptance of the euro.

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