Luxembourg's ‘yo’ is Constitution's last twitch

10 July 2005

Luxembourg's ‘yo’ is Constitution's last twitch

Today, 56,5% of Luxembourg's electorate of 223.000 voted in favour of the European Constitution, a 'yo' which hardly comes as a surprise. On the other hand, the fact that the majority was so paltry is remarkable. Commenting on the result, SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel said, “The European Constitution was dead and it's still dead. It has not been reincarnated in Luxembourg.”

For Luxembourg, the European Union is a daily reality, due largely to the presence of numerous EU institutions within its borders. The Court of Justice, the Court of First Instance, the European Investment Bank, the Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the Office for Official Publications, the Statistical Bureau and a number of European Commission services all find their home in the tiny country's modestly-sized capital city. This makes the EU one of Luxembourg's major employers, bringing it vital revenue. “Luxembourg is both a tax haven and one of the three capital cities of the European Union,” Mr Van Bommel pointed out. “That nearly half of its inhabitants nevertheless voted 'No' merely confirms that the Constitution is dead.”

Harry van BommelThe fact that Luxembourg's popular prime minister said that he would resign if the people voted 'No' was Van Bommel argues, nothing but “blackmail.” That “so much pressure was needed to persuade the country's citizens to vote 'Yes' speaks volumes. The French killed the Constitution and the Dutch nailed down the coffin lid. 126,000 Luxembourgers voting 'Yes' is just the last twitching of the corpse.”

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