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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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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