Persson: French ‘non’ a setback for Europe

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson said the French rejection of the European constitution in a referendum Sunday was a setback for Europe.

“It is a setback for the French president and his government, it is a setback for the ratification process and it is an enormous setback for the prospects of Europe,” Persson said on SVT1 public television.

He said the French rejection of the constitution was influenced by other considerations.

“The French were preoccupied by unemployment and unhappy with their president,” said Persson, referring to Jacques Chirac.

Partial results showed the French rejected the constitution by 56 percent to 44 percent.

“We’ll decide for ourselves,” said the prime minister when asked about Sweden’s plans to hold a parliamentary vote to ratify the constitution this December.