Most French want referendum on new EU treaty: survey
(PARIS) - A large majority of French want a referendum over a new EU treaty that would introduce a "golden rule" making balanced budgets mandatory, according to a poll to be published Monday.
President Francois Hollande has opted for a parliament vote to adopt the treaty, a key element in efforts to overcome the eurozone debt crisis, which will enter into force once 12 of the 17 eurozone members have ratified it.
Signed in March, the pact requires countries with high debt to keep their structural deficits below 0.5 percent of gross domestic product or face stiff penalties.
But 72 percent of of the 998 people surveyed by polling institute CSA for the daily L'Humanite answered yes when asked whether they would like a national referendum on the treaty.
Twenty-three percent said no, with five percent undecided.
Respondents from Hollande's Socialist Party were the least likely to favor a referendum, with 66 percent answering yes, while supporters of the Front de Gauche left party were the biggest backers at 80 percent.
Seventy-five percent of right-wing supporters answered yes to the referendum in the phone survey on August 21-22.
France's Constitutional Council ruled this month that no change to the country's constitution was necessary to adopt the EU fiscal pact, allowing Hollande to avoid a divisive battle within his Socialist party and with its left-wing allies over a constitutional amendment.
The amendment would have required three-fifths approval by parliament or a referendum.
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