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Letters to the Editor

The 340 million people of Europe are among the 20 percent of the world's population who share 80 percent of the world's wealth. Yet 53 million people in Europe live in poverty.

I will soon vote yes in the French referendum on the Maastricht treaty. But this does not mean I am simply going along with "a bunch of national leaders," as Matthew Hersch suggested in his column on the treaty ["Europeans Should Wait on Rush Towards Unity," Sept. 2].

The Maastricht treaty is only a tool. The real question Europe faces is not whether to accept the treaty, but how it will be used to allow informed European citizens to participate in an effective government.

Europe should not wait on unification. Now is the time to show our will to act, not to discuss the issue in print. Some people prefer to remain confined in their individual domain, to forget the poverty and its consequences and the riots that meet only with indifference. They prefer immobility. But in the face of the present instabilities and dislocations, new steps are necessary. The Maastricht treaty is the first of these.

Ccile Martin