Richard North, 12/10/2004  

That is one of the few weapons they haveā€¦ The EU would be plunged into a crisis which would hurt workers the most if member states reject the proposed EU constitution says Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

"If there was a crisis in Europe (because the treaty was not ratified) the first to be hurt would be workers and their families," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on the future of Europe organised by a Portuguese labour confederation.

"The owners of capital can with great ease transfer their investments outside of Europe, to China, to India, to other areas. But workers and their families are not thinking of moving, they want to stay in Europe," he added.

"That is why is is necessary to rally European public opinion around a European constitution which is naturally a compromise but which offers Europe the possibility of stability and more prosperity."

Bit short on detail is this report but one wonders on what grounds Barroso bases his claim, when all the evidence to date suggests that European integration has not exactly produced unalloyed benefits for "workers and their families".

Nevertheless, this again points to the tactics that will be (are being) used to support the constitution, and suggests that the "no campaign" will have to spend some time reassuring the electorate. However, ridicule might be an equally effective weapon.

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