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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Dutch press scolds politicians
'No' poster in The Hague
The "No" campaign won by a large margin

Dutch newspapers say leaders in the Netherlands and the EU need to learn lessons from the emphatic "No" delivered by Dutch voters in Wednesday's referendum on the EU constitution.

More than 60% of Dutch voters rejected the constitution, in what is seen as a huge blow to the EU project, just three days after French voters also said "No".

The Dutch have delivered the final blow to the European constitution. In shock, the political elite watched as a large majority delivered a crushing "No".

Commentary in Algemeen Dagblad

The only appropriate place for this constitution after the "No" is in the bin... But there will have to be some personnel changes [in the Dutch government].

Separate commentary in Algemeen Dagblad

Dutch politics is embarrassed by the impressive "No" to the European constitution. Although this was largely expected, nobody had foreseen that the vote against would be so massive.

Editorial in De Telegraaf

The Dutch are not against Europe. Their "No" is a powerful signal demonstrating that the people are seriously concerned about the development of Europe... The voters have strongly applied the emergency brake. This is a dramatic intervention, which cannot be dismissed light-heartedly: politicians will have to do some serious soul-searching.

Commentary in Trouw

The Balkenende cabinet did badly in the "Yes" campaign. The amateurish and at times arrogant attitude of some of the major players will have a long-term effect. Government members chose to threaten those voters who were considering voting "No". With this they drove the doubters into the arms of the "No" camp.

Commentary by Marc Peeperkorn and Philippe Remarque in de Volkskrant

In this age of the individual the voters do what they want to do. They are hardly going to allow themselves to be led by party bosses and opinion makers. Emotions are decisive. This makes it absolutely necessary that in future they are much more involved in each step the government takes in Europe.

Commentary by Kees Lunshof in De Telegraaf

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


What the EU constitution says
22 Jun 04 |  Europe

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