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Dutch PM Urges Voters to Approve EU Constitution

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende says a "no" vote in next week's referendum on the European Constitution would damage the country's reputation as a champion of European integration.

In an interview with Dutch newspapers Saturday Mr. Balkenende said European leaders currently view the Netherlands as a country that works "constructively and critically" with international institutions.

Reuters news agency quotes the Netherlands leader as urging voters not to use the referendum as an opportunity to express discontent with Dutch government policies, but to read the document and vote on its substance.

Latest public opinion polls indicate that more than half of Dutch citizens plan to vote against the treaty in the June first referendum.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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