- Title: NETHERLANDS: GOVERNMENT BOOSTS E.U. CONSTITUTION REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN
- Date: 3rd May 2005
- Summary: (W3) THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (MAY 2, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. SLV CROWD ENTERING TRAMWAY; MV WOMAN WITH EU UMBRELLA ENTERING TRAM WITH "CONSTITUTION" WRITTEN ON SIDE' 0.12 2. MV DUTCH MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS ATZO NIKOLAI STANDING IN TRAM WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF 'YES' CAMPAIGN; JOURNALISTS FILMING NIKOLAI AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT 0.26 3. NIKOLAI TALKING TO PEOPLE IN THE TRAM; MV STUDENTS WATCHING 0.36 4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUTCH MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS ATZO NIKOLAI, DISCUSSING THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTING DUTCH SPECIFICITIES, SAYING: "It is one of the most asked questions indeed, our identity. Specific things like soft drugs, like euthanasia, abortion and other issues. And then I can explain to everybody: don't worry, on the contrary, this constitution is very clear that these kind of things are national issues. We can have it as national issues and that's very important, in the UK and other countries it will be important also I think." 1.04 5. SCU WOMAN SITTING IN TRAM WITH A 'NO' CAMPAIGN POSTER 1.09 6. (SOUNDBITE)(English) 'NO' CAMPAIGNER, WILLEM BOF, SAYING: "It is not democratic that's one point. And the other point is that is included in this constitution is all kinds of political direction, economic policy, military policy etc. all kind of things who (which) does not belong in a constitution, no constitution in the world, nearly, it was in the constitution of the Soviet Union, but in a normal constitution it is not included." 1.34 7. SLV EXTERIOR OF TRAM PASSING BY WITH "VOTE FIRST OF JUNE - EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION" WRITTEN ON IT 1.41 (W3) AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (APRIL 30, 2005) (REUTERS) 8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLL ANALYST, MAURICE DE HOND, SAYING: "In the Netherlands there are many people who think the European Union went too fast, too fast maybe with the Euro, too fast maybe with with the additional 10 countries. They (Dutch people) have never voted for anything about Europe, never had a referendum before, not about the Euro not about adding another 10 countries. And this is their opportunity to show the government that everything goes too fast according to them. And therefore they vote "No", not because of the constitution itself, because nobody understands the constitution whatsoever but because the things go too fast." 2.22 9. MV TWO WOMEN SELLING DRINKS DURING QUEEN'S DAY IN STREET SHOPKIOSK CALLED EUROLAND 2.28 10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANNEKE LOUWEN, SAYING: "I think the laws in Holland are very different from the laws in other countries in Europe. For instance our liberal drug policy, prostitution or euthanasia, very for that. I think it will be, I think the other European countries, are not that much for, do not understand our ideas and our ideals. So I think it is very bad for us if we are gonna get the European constitution." 2.57 11. SLV CROWD CELEBRATING QUEENS DAY 3.02 (W3) THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (MARCH 2005) (REUTERS) 12. MV RIGHT LEADER AND 'NO' CAMPAIGNER, GEERT WILDERS, IN OFFICE 3.08 13. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RIGHT LEADER AND NO CAMPAIGNER, GEERT WILDERS, SAYING: "Europe needs a good crisis, so I would not be against that (the crisis), Europe should be awake, stay awake and should deal with it like when Europe was founded a few decades ago and not get involved with too many things that are really for the individual countries that are sovereign. So if a crisis is needed in Europe it would be today. Like I told you in your last question, the distance between the popular voice and the distance between the political elite has never been so large especially when it comes to Europe." 3.41 (W3) AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (APRIL 30, 2005) (REUTERS) 14. SCU MORE QUEEN'S DAY WITH DOG DRESSED LIKE A QUEEN; PEOPLE ON BOAT DRESSED IN ORANGE; AMSTERDAM CANAL AND BOATS AND PEOPLE DRESSED ON ORANGE 4.03 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th May 2005 13:00
- Location: THE HAGUE / AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Reuters ID: LVAEXPA11B547K1L0I3NBN52S4LK
- Story Text: Dutch government boosts referendum campaign in the
street as latest poll show the 'No' vote would win.
Dutch European Affairs Minister Atzo Nikolai took
the EU Constitution referendum campaign to the streets of
the Hague by tram on Monday (May 2, 2005), in an attempt to boost
the " yes" vote in a so far low profile campaign.
Latest polls show the 'No' vote would win with
increasing numbers of Dutch people fearing for the loss of
liberal Dutch laws on abortion, euthanasia and soft drugs.
The Dutch will vote on the treaty on June 1 in their
first referendum ever, three days after France holds its
vote and surveys show more Dutch voters against the
constitution than in favour. The latest opinion polls give
the 'No' camp a slender lead.
The Dutch 'No' campaign has been fuelled by fears of an
erosion of sovereignty, opposition to the euro, concerns
about Turkey's bid to join the EU and worries that liberal
Dutch laws could be put in jeopardy.
"It's one of the most asked questions, indeed. Our
identity: specific things like the soft drugs, like
euthanasia, abortion and other issues," European Affairs
Minister Atzo Nicolai said on the 'Yes' campaign trail in
"I can explain to everybody: Don't worry. On the
contrary. This constitution is very clear that these kind
of things are national issues," he said. "That's very
Some 'No' campaigners took place on board the tram
distributing leaflets and urging people to vote 'No'.
The Netherlands, like France, one of the founding
members of the EU, has seen traditionally strong support
for the EU wane in recent years. All main political parties
in the Netherlands are in favour of the treaty.
But about 40 percent of voters would reject the treaty
and 38 percent would approve it, according to a survey by
pollster Maurice de Hond for public television which was
published at the weekend.
"In the Netherlands there are many people who think the
EU went too fast, too fast with the euro, with the
additional 10 countries", Poll analyst Maurice de Hond told
Reuters . "They (Dutch people) have never voted for
anything about Europe, never had a referendum before, not
about the Euro not about the additional 10 countries. So
this is their opportunity to show the government that
everything goes too fast. And therefore they vote 'No' ,
not because of constitution itself, because nobody
understands the constitution whatsoever, but because the
things go too fast.", he added.
The "No" camp includes the Socialist Party, and Geert
Wilders, an anti-immigration parliamentarian who has sought
to turn the referendum into a protest vote on Turkey's bid
to join the EU.
Wilders told Reuters last month he'd hope the
referendum would end up with a major political crisis the
the European Union.
"Europe needs a good crisis. Europe should not get
involved with too many things which are really for the
individual countries which are sovereign", he said. "The
distance between popular voice and the political elite has
never been so large especially when it comes to Europe",
In their annual show of unity, Dutch people took the
streets of Amsterdam, dressed in orange, last Saturday
(April 30) to celebrate the Queen's Day, the biggest
The EU referendum and the latest polls showing a clear
win for the 'No' campaign has been one of the favourite
topics of discussions. Despite selling drinks in a
streetshop called Euroland, Anneke told Reuters her fears
about a constitution which would harm Dutch liberal laws.
"I think the laws in the Netherlands are very different
to other countries, for instance our liberal drug policy,
euthanasia or prostitution", Anneke said. " I think the
other European countries do not understand our ideas and
our ideal. So i think it is very bad for us if we are gonna
get the European constitution", she added.
The latest poll also showed that only 37 percent of
Dutch voters plan to vote and one quarter of voters say
they are not or are badly informed about the treaty, while
only one third said they were reasonably well informed, the
survey of 600 people said.
The Dutch government started its campaign mid April,
when an independent committee assigned 1 million euros
($1.28 million) to "Yes" and "No" campaigns and neutral
groups. It has also began distributing an 18-page summary
of the treaty which should reach up to 7.6 million Dutch
Campaigners for both sides were given a total of
400,000 euros each.
Treaty supporters fear the Dutch could use the
referendum to cast a protest vote against the unpopular
centre-right government, immigration and the sluggish
The Netherlands plans to go ahead with its referendum
even if France rejects the constitution.
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