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French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen wants to campaign against EU Treaty in Ireland

French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen wants to campaign against EU Treaty in Ireland

French rar-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said he was ready to help bring down the European Union's new Reform Treaty in a referendum in Ireland, the only country so far to put the document to a public vote.
Le Pen said he would be delighted to go to Ireland if invited to campaign against the treaty, which was adopted at an EU summit last week.
"If a political movement called on me to lend support for a 'No' vote, it would be a great pleasure for me to come to Ireland, or anyone from my party, to campaign in the referendum," he told journalists late Wednesday.
Le Pen, an icon of France's far right, also said he would launch a petition in France against the treaty, which replaces the European Constitution rejected by Dutch and French voters in 2005 amid fears the EU was set to become a superstate, taking too many powers from national governments.
The treaty is a revised, toned-down version of the constitution and is written as a series of amendments to the EU's existing treaty rule book. It aims to simplify how an expanded club of now 27 members is run.
To date, only Ireland _ which is constitutionally bound to do so _ is committed to put the treaty to a national referendum. Other countries have indicated they will seek ratification only in their parliaments, which is seen as a less risky way of getting the document approved.
Irish voters made the EU's 2004 admission of 10 new members difficult by initially rejecting the EU's Nice Treaty, which spelled out expansion rules, in a June 2001 referendum. A second, successful, vote on that treaty was staged a year later.