Richard North, 01/06/2005  

"The government, the opposition, the newspapers, the Dutch TUC (Unions) and the employers' federations. They are all very strongly in favour of the constitution."

Thus spoke a Dutch journalist from the BBC television studio in London. "A huge blow for the government," she said. "They expected 30 percent [turnout]".

Said another Dutch journalist, Gees Versteeg, speaking from The Hague: "It was the first time opportunity to make the politicians sweat… it was a confrontation between the people and the politicians."

And prime minister Jan Peter Deadender? Sorry, Balkenende. He say: "It's clear that we are not happy with this outcome."

You don't say!

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