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Home arrow newsitems arrow Big Alsacian Majority votes Referendum, but technicality blocks. Strasbourg 70% eve of Election 2014

Big Alsacian Majority votes Referendum, but technicality blocks. Strasbourg 70% eve of Election 2014

Written by ACM
Sunday, 07 April 2013
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*Strasbourg/- A big Majority of Alsacian People voted in favor of the Popular Referendum for the reUnification of Alsace at a level as high as 57,8 % against 42,2%, with  more than +67.600 votes' Advance for the "Yes", vis a vis the "No" : More than 255.400 for, against some 187.800 only.   

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(Comp. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/alsacereferendumcavada.html )    
Nevertheless, Bureaucratic conditions didn't allow for that big Majority of Alsacian People to freely decide the Future of their region, allowing a Minority to technically block the process by seizing a tiny majority only at one area : Upper Rhine, (the smallest out of 2 Departments which compose, taken all together, the Alsace Region), where the "No" got 55,4% against 44,3%, even if in the Biggest Department, that of Lower Rhine, where Strasbourg is located, the "Yes" marked a Record High of .. more than 67,5% of Votes, (against only 32,4% for the "No")...

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But the Organizers of the Popular Referendum     succeeded to bypass another Condition : on the rate of Popular Participation, reaching something well beyond 34%, despite of the rather Institutional content of the issues at stake, and even if the opposed "Socialist" Municipality of Strasbourg (whose Mayor Ries had reportedly declared that he'd "stay Home", and closed the City Hall on the Vote Day, contrary to the tradition..) invested heavily in various Deviations these Days, including a 2-Day International Conference on Europe, and even Mass Sports for Heart's Health, etc... I.e. almost a Similar Participation to that of EU Parliament's Elections back to 2004 : 38%, and not far away from that of 1999 : 42%, not even from the latest June 2012 French National Parliamentary Elections : 49%...

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 - "We thank the Alsacian People, who, despite the appeals to stay home, and the campaigns of slandering, dared move to vote in favor of the Referendum for Alsace with a very Large Majority", declared from the outset the President of Alsace Region, Philippe Richet. "Nevertheless, the (legal) process stops here, because inside  the (smaller among the 2 Departments which compose Alsace region) Upper Rhine, a slim majority voted against. We respect that, as everybody must respect the clearly expressed will of the overall Majority throughout the entire Alsace region", he soberly added, without explaining yet in concrete detail what exactly he meant by that for the Future, (particularly on the Political aspects of the event, and their consequences).

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+ 71% in Strasbourg !!!
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* But perhaps the most important Political Revelation in this April 2013 Popular Referendum for Alsace was the Astonishing Fact that it succeeded, well beyond all expectations, to win with ...more than + 70% for the "Yes" Vote, against only 29% for the "No", throughout all the City of Strasbourg, (the Biggest in Alsace, and Headquarters of its Region, as well as of European Institutions such as the COE, EU Parliament's Plenary Sessions, ECHR, EU Ombudsman, Schengen System, EuroCorps, International Space University, etc).

Coming just 1 Year before the crucial 2014 Municipal Elections in France, such a Huge Distance taken by 71% of the People vis a vis its Governing "Socialist" Team, (the local "Socialist" Party having made a heavy Publicity against the Referendum, clearly calling to vote "No", despite a few ambiguities by some Individual politicians apparently scared by the Polls...), obviously reveals a "cinglant Desaveu" by Strasbourg's Citizens vis a vis their "Socialist" Municipality as it stands.

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+ >>> Moreover, by succeeding to Win 58 %- 42 % throughout Alsace region, ad with such a large Margin as + 67% in the Biggest, "Lower Rhine" Department, even  more than + 70% in Strasbourg, mainly on the sole Political basis of an unprecedented  Center-Right ChristianDemocrat and "Greens"' objective Alliance, for the 1st time in History, (See "EuroFora"s relevant previous NewsReport, dated April 5 : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/alsacereferendumcavada.html ), i.e. even without Any Vote from the Rightists of the "National Front" (FN : particularly Strong in Alsace), the UMP and Centrist Parties proved, well beyond any expectation, that they have all their Chances to Win Strasbourg Mayorship at the forthcoming Municipal Elections, next year (2014), while, on the Contrary, the local "Socialist" Party revealled that it's dangerously Disconnected from the People....    

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+ In addition, the results at the 3rd City of the region : Colmar, where the experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP Mayor Gilbert Meyer (UMP : same party as Richert) had reportedly expressed some concerns, as well as in the "Upper Rhine" department in general, apparently indicate that even People who voted "No" now, weren't, in fact, against the main idea of Simplification and RerUnification of Alsace, but only worried about an eventual risk to downgrade the role of their area inside the overall Regional structure. In other words, even them might be willing to vote in favor of Alsace's reunification if they had been better ensured to keep playing a notable role.
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Meanwhile, as things stand today, it all seems as if it was an unsatisfactory (and probably illegitimate)  : - "Democracy v. Legalistic technicalities" !

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 But History teaches that the Political message given by a crystal-clear Majority of  People (as now among Alsacians) always finds a concrete manner to satisfy Citizens' will, sooner or later, in one way or another,... particularly ifit concerns some among the various other topical and more "substantial" socio-political issues...

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And, at any case, it certainly cannot be ignored.-
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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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