The leader of the French Left Party has called for a nationwide demonstration in protest against the European Union’s so-called Fiscal Compact. Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is also the former French minister of vocational education, urged people to hold the demonstration on September 30. Melenchon also demanded that the government hold a referendum on the Fiscal Compact, which is slated to be put to the vote in the country’s parliament. Signed on March 2 by 25 EU member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, the intergovernmental treaty seeks to tighten budget discipline in the 27-nation bloc.
This is while according to a new opinion poll, conducted by the French newspaper L’Humanité, nearly 72 percent of French people want a referendum on the treaty.While French officials want the Fiscal Compact to be ratified in the European Union, most countries in the recession-bound continent consider the move as violation of their sovereignty and interference in their internal affairs. Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily-debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries including Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy. MR/HSN