61.6% of the Dutch people say 'no' to EU constitution

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Dutch ballot box against.PNG
Results of the referendum

The end result says that 61.6% of the Dutch people vote tegen (against) the European Constitution, while 38.4% voted voor (for) the Constitution. Turnout was unexpectedly high, at 62.8%, more than the last three elections. The 'no' vote follows a similar vote in France last week that lead to the resignation of the prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

As in France, both the government and the parliament was highly pro-treaty, with Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, pleading over the past few days with voters not to be influenced by the French 'No' vote. While the citizenship's vote is legally non-binding, Mr. Balkenende and the Dutch parliament have said they will support it.

The major reasons for the 'no' vote appear to be worry over the rapid expansion of the EU, loss of a national identity, distrust as a result of the inflation (allegedly a result of the Euro) and a lack of democracy. Other motivations include unhappiness with the government and Turkey's candidate accession to the European Union.

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