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Petition launched for EU referendum

A CITIZENS' initiative in Bratislava began a national drive on September 1 against the new European Union constitution, with a petition for a public referendum to be held on the draft, the news wire TASR wrote.

The need for a referendum, according to the initiative's coordinator, Ondrej Dostál, stems from Slovakia's constitutional references to entering a union with other states.

He said that the petition action was an appeal to political leaders, and especially PM Mikuláš Dzurinda, who wants to have the constitution approved only by parliament.

Supported by minor political parties like the Civic Conservative Party and the Young Conservatives and NGOs, such as the Institute for Free Society and the F A Hayek Foundation, the initiative is designed to prevent the adoption of the EU constitution, on which all of the union's 25 states must decide by October.

According to petition committee chairman, Peter Osuský, the EU constitution opens the way for more and more power to be handed to Brussels and "interferes in areas of life that are not relevant to the enhancement of the EU's operation."

The EU member states, which have so far decided to hold a referendum, are Great Britain, France, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

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