- Title: SLOVAKIA: VOTING TAKES IN A TWO DAY REFERENDUM ON JOINING THE EUROPEAN UNION.
- Date: 16th May 2003
- Summary: (EU) BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA (MAY 16, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV: RIVER DANUBE WITH THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING IN THE BACKGROUND. 0.07 2. WS: PEOPLE ON STEPS. 0.12 3. GV: SLOVAK PARLIAMENT BUILDING. 0.19 4. VARIOUS: PEOPLE AT STREET CAFES AND STREET SCENES. (3 SHOTS) 0.37 5. SCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) WOMAN SAYING: "I don't want us to join the EU" 0.41 6. SCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) OLDER WOMAN SAYING: "It gives us a lot. And to our grandchildren as well. So I am going to vote." 0.52 7. VARIOU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) WHITE HAIRED MAN SAYING: "It means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing." 0.59 8. SCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) OLD WOMAN WITH GLASSES SAYING: "Everything will change (for the) good, no doubt. We are going to vote, all our family." 1.07 9. SCU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) BEARDED MAN SAYING: "It is a chance for my children..." 1.10 10. VARIOUS: OF OLD TOWN STREETS, AUTOMATED BANK MACHINE, BEGGAR SITTING ON PAVEMENT, PEOPLE IN CAFE, BILLBOARD ON STREET. (6 SHOTS) 1.36 11. GV: POLLING STATION / MV: MAN READING NOTICES AT ENTRANCE. 1.49 12. VARIOUS: OF PEOPLE IN POLLING STATION, COLLECTING VOTING SLIP AND GOING INTO BOOTH TO CAST VOTE. (2 SHOTS) 2.06 13. VARIOUS: OF PEOPLE CASTING VOTES INTO BALLOT BOX. (2 SHOTS_ 2.29 14. VARIOUS: SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER MIKULAS DZURINDA ARRIVING AND VOTING AND THEN SHAKING HANDS WITH ELECTION OFFICIALS. (2 SHOTS) 2.44 15. CU: (SOUNDBITE) (Slovak) SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER MIKULAS DZURINDA SAYING: "I believe that everybody who wants good for Slovakia will come to vote. Any responsible citizen, anyone who likes Slovakia, should come." 3.07 16. VARIOUS: DZURINDA SPEAKING TO PEOPLE IN THE STREET AND SHAKING HANDS, LEAVING BY CAR. 3.40 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 31st May 2003 13:00
- Location: BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
- Country: Slovakia
- Reuters ID: LVA9K35PTBUV006B93SKVIU9J58C
- Story Text: Slovakians have been voting in a two-day referendum on
joining the European Union. It is feared voter apathy may
invalidate the poll which requires at least 50 percent
Slovaks voted with little apparent enthusiasm in an EU
entry referendum on Friday (May 15) amid fears that apathy may
overshadow strong support for joining the bloc of wealthier
The two-day process is the fifth referendum in an EU
enlargement state after Malta, Slovenia, Hungary and Lithuania
backed joining the Union in similar ballots earlier this year.
Opinion surveys indicate more than 75 percent of voters
want EU integration.
A "Yes" would mean a successful end to the ex-Soviet satellite's
attempt to rejoin the West after a false start last decade when
ex-Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar led the country into isolation with
It would also help bring wealth to a country whose five
million citizens earn an average monthly wage of about 400
U.S. Dollars (USD) .
Pensioner Vojtech Kurthy, voting at one polling station
where workers outnumbered those casting ballots said he was
not here to vote for himself, but for younger people, so they
could have a better life than his generation did.
More than 50 percent of voters must take part for the
referendum to be valid, but parliament can override an invalid
It has almost unanimously sworn to ratify entry
regardless of the referendum result.
Analysts say failure to reach a quorum would embarrass
both the European Union and the strongly pro-accession
government of Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.
They say it would set a bad precedent for voters in EU
members-in-waiting Poland and the Czech Republic, who hold their own
votes on the issue in June.
Media, analysts and voters have lambasted the government
for a botched pre-referendum campaign, saying the series of
ambiguous television and radio ads and sparsely seen
billboards launched only in late April have done more to raise
voter frustration than awareness about what membership means.
Markets have built in a yes vote, but have been nervous in
recent days over the possibility of low voter turnout.
No exit polls are planned for the plebiscite, which
concludes when balloting stations close at 1200 GMT on
Saturday. Official results are expected on Sunday.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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