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New French Government Seen Likely


A change in the government of France could be announced Monday, after Sunday's resounding rejection of the European Constitution by French voters.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin was thought likely to resign after the referendum, and President Jacques Chirac has scheduled a meeting at this hour with Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin.

It is expected that he will ask Mr. de Villepin to form a new government. All the countries of Europe are pondering their future after the 55-to-45 "no" Sunday. Each of the 25 EU countries must ratify the constitution for it to take effect.

So far, nine have done so, but most have not yet held polls. The Netherlands has the next scheduled referendum.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said earlier the future of Europe and its economy are in question, but that it is too early for Britain to decide whether it will hold a referendum on the treaty.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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