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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spain Ratifies EU Constitution

MADRID -- Spanish voters overwhelmingly endorsed the European Union constitution in its first test at the grass-roots level, but low turnout may have muffled the strong message the government had hoped to send to a bloc jittery about Euroskeptics.

A total of 76.7 percent of voters backed the constitution Sunday in a non-binding referendum, while 17.3 percent voted against it, the Interior Ministry said. Turnout was 42 percent, the lowest in any vote in Spain since democracy was restored after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975. For the constitution to take effect, all 25 EU countries must approve the charter, which some -- especially critics -- see as a major step toward a European superstate.

Three nations have already ratified it in parliament. Spain was the first of 10 countries to hold a referendum, with voters in the Netherlands and France to decide on the constitution in coming months.