NEWS

Greeks back treaty ‘no’ votes

Despite being denied a chance to vote on the European Constitution, Greeks hold strong views on the treaty and nearly half of them were pleased that the French rejected it just over a week ago, according to a poll published yesterday. Some 55 percent of French voters voted against the constitution in a May 29 referendum, and the survey by VPRC found that 48 percent of Greeks saw the vote as a positive development. Only 21 percent saw it in a negative light. However, almost 85 percent of those questioned admitted to not being well informed about the details of the constitution. Greeks did not have a say on the treaty as Parliament voted overwhelmingly to ratify it on April 19, despite opposition calls for a referendum. Greece is one of 10 EU members that have ratified the constitution so far, along with Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Despite an apparent unease with the constitution, Greeks do not seem to be in any doubt over the notion of having a European Union: Nearly three quarters said they were in favor of it, according to the poll published in the Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper. Half of the respondents said that their main reason for voting in favor of the constitution would be because Greece benefits financially from the EU. Thirty percent of those polled said that a reason for voting against the treaty would be they did not want Turkey to join the EU. The rejection of the constitution by the voters in France, followed by the Dutch, has caused a few jitters in Greece over how Turkey will react to this possible setback in its bid to join the EU. Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos admitted last week that Greece was «closely monitoring» Aegean air space after the referendum results.