EU referendum in Spain

In a rally held in Madrid last night, Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made a final (some would say desperate) attempt to generate interest in the referendum due to be held tomorrow in which over 34 and a half million Spanish voters will be given the chance to accept or reject the proposed European Constitution.

The Spanish president asked for the yes vote from “everybody who all these years has voted for freedom, for democracy, for progress, for peace, for Europe and for coexistence”. President Zapatero accompanied during last night’s rally by ex-president Felipe Gonzalez, a prominent member of the European referendum campaign, called for “the yes of Spain 2005, the yes of an optimistic Spain, the yes of a Spain that has repaired mistakes made in the past and has gained enough self-confidence not only to be European but to lead Europe… a Spain that has learned how to go forward in unity and to respect diversity”.

The Popular Party have also supported the yes vote.

Mariano Rajoy reminded his party faithfuls in a PP rally last night that he was asking for their vote neither because of nor inspite of the Government, who he accused of lacking both principles and conviction, but because of the belief of the PP that a European Consitution is a good thing for Europe.

Zapatero insisted he remained confident that there will be a large turn-out tomorrow. Over the past few weeks the government has tried to highlight certain articles of the European constitution and increase overall awareness of its implications. Famous figures from the worlds of politics, culture, media and sport have participated in the campaign, by reading a clause and appearing in adverts on national television, radio and thousand of billboards all over the country. Learning the constitution off by heart and reciting its clauses provided the Spanish version of VIP Big Brother with one of its weekly trials.

But despite a very visible and audible campaign, the latest surveys tend to suggest that a large percentage of the Spanish population still doesn’t know enough about the text of the proposed EU constitution, or is simply not interested enough to vote in the referendum.

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