Richard North, 11/11/2004  

Lithuania is the first country to have ratified the EU Constitution with a parliamentary vote of 84 for, 4 against and 3 abstentions. The ratification instrument was passed on the last day of the parliamentary term.

Some civic groups have pointed out that there had been no debate on the subject and the legislation was passed with unseemly haste. On the other hand, the Lithuanian parliamentarians were congratulated by the European Commission spokesman Reijo Kemppinen.

Former French President Giscard d’Estaing, father of the unwieldy Constitution, sent a message, thanking the men and women of Lithuania for their brave and bold step. The trouble is that the men and woment of Lithuania probably did not know what was happening and have not quite realized what their parliamentarians have voted through.

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