Almost two thirds of French people would have voted against the Maastricht Treaty, a new poll found yesterday, 20 years after France narrowly backed the text that introduced the euro.
3:25PM BST 17 Sep 2012
The Ifop poll found that 64 per cent of French would reject the founding treaty of the European Single Currency if a referendum were held today.
Some 51 per cent of French voted in favour of the Maastricht Treaty in September 1992, with 49 per cent against in a vote that bolstered Socialist president François Mitterrand's hand and split the French Right. Today just 36 per cent would do so.
Yesterday's poll found that 76 per cent of French think the European Union is not acting efficiently enough in limiting the effects of the economic crisis and 60 per cent are in favour of "less European integration" of economic and budgetary policies.
"The French seem to no longer believe in European integration, which had been sold to them as a shield to protect them against high winds," wrote Right-wing daily Le Figaro, which published the poll.
Despite their misgivings, some 65 per cent of French are against ditching the euro and returning to the franc. That figure is in stark contrast to the Germans, 65 per cent of whom believe they would be better off without the euro, in a separate TNS poll released yesterday.
The last time the French were called to vote in a referendum in Europe was in 2005, when they roundly rejected the European constitutional treaty.
President François Hollande is due to push through a budgetary discipline treaty strongly promoted by German chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming weeks.
One CSA poll published last month suggested 72 per cent of French would like to vote on the treaty via a referendum but Mr Hollande has ruled this out.
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