Poles Vote 'Yes' to Joining European Union - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/08/03 - Warsaw, Poland

Poles Vote 'Yes' to Joining European Union

Exit polls show Poles have voted overwhelmingly to join the European Union. And that's music to the Polish president's ears.

President Aleksander Kwasniewski has told cheering supporters that "we are coming back to Europe."

The referendum gives Kwasniewski the popular mandate needed to ratify Poland's treaty with the E.U., signed at an Athens summit in April.

Poland would be the largest country to join the 15-nation bloc.

Today was the second day of voting. Many turned out at the urging of priests, family and friends, amid concern that voter turnout would fall below the 50 percent required to make the referendum valid.

Exit polls found 56 percent of Poland's 29 and a-half million registered voters turned out -- and 82 percent voted "yes" for membership.

First official results were expected after midnight.

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